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Full text of "Accounting for POW/MIA's from the Korean War and the Vietnam War : hearing before the Military Personnel Subcommittee of the Committee on National Security, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, second session, hearing held September 17, 1996"

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[H.N.S.C. No. 104-51] 


Y 4.SE 2/1 A: 995-96/51 

Accounting for PDU/HIA's fron the K. 







SEPTEMBER 17, 1996 


r ^ 


For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office 
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office. Washington. DC 20402 
ISBN 0-16-054352-5 


[H.N.S.C. No. 104-51] 


Y 4.SE 2/1 A: 995-96/51 

Accounting for PDU/HIA's fron the K. . . 






SEPTEMBER 17, 1996 



For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office 
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402 
ISBN 0-16-054352-5 


ROBERT K. DORNAN, California, Chairman 


RON LEWIS, Kentucky G.V. (SONNY) MONTGOMERY, Mississippi 

J.C. WATTS, Jr., Oklahoma IKE SKELTON, Missouri 


SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia ROSA L. DkLAURO, Connecticut 

TODD TIAHRT, Kansas MIKE WARD, Kentucky 

DUNCAN HUNTER, California 

John D. Chapla, Professional Staff Member 

Michael R. Higgins, Professional Staff Member 

Donna L. Hoffmeier, Professional Staff Member 

Diane W. Bowman, Staff Assistant 





Dornan, Hon. Robert K., a Representative from California, Chairman, Mili- 
tary Personnel Subcommittee 1 

Pickett, Hon. Owen, a Representative from Virginia, Ranking Minority Mem- 
ber, Military Personnel Subcommittee 7 


Bell, Gamett E., Former Special Assistant for Negotiations, Joint Task Force- 
Full Accounting: Statement 83 

Corso, Col. Phillip, U.S. Army, [Retired], Former Advisor to President Eisen- 

Statement 8 

Prepared statement 10 

Douglass, Joseph D., Jr., Defense Analyst and Author: 

Statement 13 

Prepared statement 18 

Sejna, Jan, Former Czech General Officer: 

Statement 51 

Prepared statement 55 

Veith, George J., POW/MIA Researcher and Analyst: 

Statement 87 

Prepared statement 97 

Liotta, Alan J., Deputy Director, Defense POW/MIA Oflice [DPMOI; Accom- 
panied by Norm Kass, Director, Joint Commission Support Directorate; 
Robert J. Destatte, Senior Analyst, Research and Analysis Directorate; 
Comdr. William G. Beck, USNR, Special Research, Joint Commission Sup- 
port Directorate; and Anthony Litvinas, Analyst, Research and Analysis 

Statement 126 

Prepared statement 157 


Letter from Hon. Bob Stump, Chairman of House Veterans' Affairs Commit- 
tee 6 


House of Representatives, 
Committee on National Security, 
Military Personnel Subcommittee, 
Washington, DC, Tuesday, September 17, 1996. 
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 12:03 p.m., in room 
2118, Raybum House Office Building, Hon. Robert K. Doman 
(chairman of the subcommittee) presiding. 


Mr. Dornan. The Subcommittee on Mihtary Personnel of the Na- 
tional Security Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives 
will come to order. 

Obviously, there is much media attention to today's hearing. I've 
lost track of how many hearings we've had in the last year and 10 
months. But there should be media attention to this because, in the 
Korean aspect of it, there was precious little media attention or fol- 
low-through on the hundreds of Americans that I'm convinced we 
left behind at the end of America's first stalemated, no-win war. 

During the past 20 months of the 104th Congress, I have con- 
ducted a series of Military Personnel Subcommittee hearings in 
order to provide effective congressional oversight of the process of 
seeking the fullest possible accounting of American combatants 
who remain missing in action. It has been my intention throughout 
all of this to work in partnership with the Defense Department and 
the State Department, to bring an honest closure for hundreds of 
families who have not broken faith with their missing loved ones, 
the heroes of their lives. 

My 31 years of direct involvement with these missing heroes 
began on May 18, 1965, when my best friend in the Air Force, and 
husband of my wife's best friend in the Air Force, David Hrdlicka, 
was shot down over Laos, while piloting an F— 105 Thunderchief, 
the world's largest fighter at the time. 

Although he was photographed as a prisoner, and interviewed in 
captivity by Soviet journalists, he remains unaccounted for and his 
ultimate fate is still unknown, as is that of his fellow captive in the 
caves near San Neua, Laos, Charlie Shelton, who was shot down 
on his 33d birthday on April 29, 1965. 

I came to know his wife well, and his five children, particularly 
his oldest son, who is a Franciscan Catholic priest, and Marion 
Shelton, tragically, took her own life after 25 years of not giving 
up on finding out the fate of her Charlie. If he was not there to 


greet her, then what a situation of her in Heaven looking down at 
him still a slave in some filthy cave, if he could possibly survive 
all these years. And people have, throughout all of history, in every 
part of the world, survived over 40 years of captivity, sometimes 

My general study of this issue began 43 years ago when, in Air 
Force flight training, my precadet class was briefed by an Army 
psychiatrist during a seminar on the brainwashing experienced by 
American POWs in Korea. At that time, 21 young enlisted men, all 
of them high school dropouts, the Koreans skillfully took advantage 
of their lack of education — they were all in China at that time. 
They had been sent from North Korea to China. 

These studies that they were exposing us to as young men on the 
way to pilot training — I was 20 at the time — it brought about the 
creation of the U.S. Military Code of Conduct. This was called 
cadet memory. This code we were ordered to memorize as aviation 
cadets. And I still have it memorized. 

I have since come to the conclusion that the term "mindset to de- 
bunk," which was used to describe the performance of Defense De- 
partment analysts over the last decade and a half, is too cryptic, 
almost too flippant. It was coined in 1980 by my friend and college 
mate, Lt. Gen. Eugene Tie, the former Director of the Defense In- 
telligence Agency, and was repeated by the internal DIA investiga- 
tions in 1986 and 1987, and then it was used again in this commit- 
tee room in 1990 by Col. Michael Peck, an Army Special Forces 
hero, who resigned in protest and disgust as Director of the De- 
fense POW/MIA Office. 

This term, "mindset to debunk" is too imprecise to describe what 
I have come to believe is a lack of competence by an entrenched 
bureaucracy. There has been a shameful institutional performance 
that I think is best described as an unrelenting, predisposition to 
discredit and dismiss out of hand all information and reports that 
have merit and might lead to resolving some of the cases of Ameri- 
cans known to have been alive in Communist captivity and, frank- 
ly, may still be in some seemingly Godforsaken situations. I say 
seemingly because I don't think God forsakes anybody. He just 
gives some people amazing crosses to bear. I can't think of a worse 
cross than a patriotic, gung-ho soldier, naval aviator. Air Force 
pilot or crewman, or a marine pilot of crewman, loving his country 
and feeling that his country has deserted him for 10, 20, 30, 40 or 
more years. 

This habit of writing off captured American fighting men, after 
no- win stalemate wars with the evil empire of communism, began 
in 1919 following the archangel expedition involving 15 allied na- 
tions sent against the Bolshevik forces in northern Russia. My own 
father, U.S. Army Capt. Harry Doman, an artillery officer, was 
nearly sent north. He was begged to volunteer, but he had enough 
World War I combat points and three wound chevrons — what we 
now call Purple Hearts — that enabled him to avoid that ill-fated 

Remember, that's when Churchill said "Let's strangle the baby in 
the crib," the baby being communism, which is not through killing 
people around the world. Consider Castro, where he first-degree 

murdered four American citizens in international waters, when 
MIG's shot down Cessna hght aircraft some weeks ago. 

At the end of World War II, after Stalin's forces overran Nazi- 
controlled POW camps in Eastern Europe, several hundred Ameri- 
cans and allied prisoners disappeared into Soviet gulags, those 
with Slavic, Ukrainian, Russian, and Polish surnames. 

During the cold war, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy — not to say 
those are the only ones that disappeared — throughout the cold war, 
U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy pilots and crews, on so-called ferret 
missions, spy flights, around the periphery of the Soviet Union, and 
Central Intelligence Agency missions using U-2's and converted 
bombers, sometimes old C-47 "gooney birds", flew over or near 
Russia and over or near China and the Korean peninsula. Many of 
these flights involved shootdowns, and the crews, in most cases, 
disappeared without a public paper trail, in some cases maybe 
without an official paper trail. Only U.S. News & World Report has 
carefully logged the shootdowns and periodically does a reflective 
story on whatever happened to these ferret mission crews. 

Then in the early 1950's, some of the best Americans of our 
World War II generation were called back again to the Reserves 
and Guard. The older edge of my generation was called up, and 
they were lost in Korea. Then some of the middle of my generation 
ended up suffering a similar fate in Vietnam. Of course, the "black 
hole" of Laos, where over 300 airmen, pilots, and aircrews, were 
lost, and not a single one returned since Theodore Dengler escaped, 
a Navy lieutenant, in 1964, or after the cease-fire in Vietnam, 27 
January 1973. There was one man lost in Laos and, through the 
intercession of some U.S. Senators, he was brought out. But nobody 
in between. 

Now, what ties together all of these tragic chapters in U.S. mili- 
tary history is the evil nature of communism, with its total, total 
disregard for human life and no military code of ethics, no officers' 
code, that caused an explosion at the Nuremberg trials, between 
General Lehausen and Herman Goering, because Goering had per- 
sonally signed the execution order of 50 of the recaptured 76th that 
had escaped out of one of the gulags in what came to be called the 
Great Escape. As an officer, a World War I decorated quadruple 
ace, he had signed a death order to execute 50 young American pi- 
lots and crew who had known freedom for a few short days. That 
code of ethics is what finally broke down Herman Goering, where 
Lehausen yelled back in his face, "You coward. As an officer, you 
signed a death order of other men." And Goering, after that, knew 
he was going to have to pop out that cyanide pill with his tooth 
and kill himself. 

These Communist governments, I repeat, with no military code, 
if they had one, they could have been dissuaded from withholding 
American or allied fighting men. In fact, there was a continuous 
strategic objective in the Communist's worldwide struggle against 
the allies of the free world. It was to squeeze every ounce of intel- 
ligence information out of some unlucky captured Americans, espe- 
cially those with technical knowledge, highly trained pilots and 
electronic ferret mission technicians. The Communists, in fact, 
were preparing for future heightened conflict while fighting all 

these lesser bloody struggles that we came to describe with the 
overarching misnomer, the cold war. 

Despite the pleading of the patriotic families of the missing, and 
the numerous attempts by the U.S. Congress, during both Demo- 
cratic and Republican administrations, to reestablish accountability 
in our Federal Government, we have been stymied by bureaucratic 
inertia and a lack of properly trained and motivated experts in geo- 
politics and in simple intelligence, strategic intelligence, an over- 
view of the enemy intelligence. 

By the way, I wrote this entire statement myself, if anybody is 
wondering how much staff input is in there. I am the expert on this 
issue in the U. S. Congress. 

There has never been a systematic methodology, as I begged for 
20 years, since I first came to the Hill in 1977 and met with CIA 
Director Stansfield Turner, there has never been a methodology led 
by fearless Sherlock Holmes-t3^e investigators to build upon the 
successes and the mistakes of our historical record in these areas. 
Instead, we continue to see the corporate board approach of the De- 
fense Department's Office for POW/MIA's, where cynics are able to 
rein supreme with a simple line: "That's hearsay. Get it out of my 
face. It's rumor and hearsay." 

The so-called analysts now lurch into the future without ever 
taking into account the strategic goals and the intelligence lust of 
the evil empire and their surrogates throughout this century. They 
lusted to get information on how our F-86 pilots, our Sabrejet pi- 
lots, were shooting down their MIG pilots at a rate of 8 to 1. The 
early reports were 13 to 1. Any Communist atheist government 
would be intensely lusting to find out what we were doing in the 
air, how our pilots were trained, since now we know by released 
documents and the testimony of Soviet retired general officers on 
film, that the Russians led the major air engagements against our 
men in the skies above the Yalu River. Russians battled them, just 
as Russians battled the Israelis over the Sinai in 1970, when Rus- 
sians' voices could be heard speaking over the air in panic right be- 
fore the Israelis had four Russian parachutes coming down at one 
time, fortunately on the Egyptian side of the conflict, to be taken 
back by their own side. 

There has always been with communism a calculated and sys- 
tematic exploitation of prisoners, up to the point of beating some 
to death, and not quickly, in a few hours, but extended beatings 
over a year or so. Identical to the way the Gestapo slowly beat and 
tortured until his spirit gave up. The French Resistance, Makee 
hero Jean Moulin. Glen Cobeil in Vietnam, Jean Moulin in occu- 
pied France, exactly the same type of hero. Beaten for months. The 
Gestapo traded Moulin from Gestapo headquarters so they all 
could have a piece of torturing him, starting in the Maurice Hotel 
in Paris. An unbelievable story, totally unknown to American youth 
today, not taught in our colleges, certainly not taught by tenured 
Marxist professors. 

Even today, despotic regimes continue the cruel exploitation of 
prisoners. An example. The Serbian heirs of Marshal Tito tortured 
and then exploited for propaganda, by claiming they were missing 
in action, not captured, the two French pilots from the same Mi- 
rage who were shot down over Bosnia near the Bosnian Serb cap- 

ital of Pale. The Bosnian Serbs deliberately said, "We don't know 
what happened to them", making them missing in action, denied 
ever holding them as prisoners — at the same time they're beating 
them — and then claim that the pilots had been kidnapped from a 
hospital. They didn't get their story straight. Our intelligence ana- 
lysts told me this, at Brendise, at Vincenza and at Aviano, when 
I went over there twice asking about them. Obviously, they got 
their story screwed up when they said they were kidnapped from 
a hospital, meaning we had them in a hospital. Why were they in 
a hospital when they both had good shoes? 

Only an international outcry, political pressure from the wives of 
these two men, taking their story from their air base in Provance 
north to Paris, to do what our POW wives did when I was a tele- 
vision host, come on a show like mine, with a sympathetic host, 
and get their story out. The two wives of the two pilots, Chevaux 
and Sovenegn, brought their story to the French people and then 
to the world. The wives had to do it, not the French Government. 
Then, finally, the government responded and, with serious threats 
to the Bosnian Serbs, it led to the release of the two pilots at the 
last minute. 

In any international conflict which escalates into fighting, it is 
my opinion you can always tell the evil side from the more right- 
eous side by the way the combatants treat prisoners of war. In 
order to preserve a viable democracy, we should remember the elo- 
quent words which were written, in part, now vindicated, in Senate 
testimony, when he said he wrote this, by one of our witnesses 
today. Col. Philip Corso. Colonel Corso wrote, with President Eisen- 
hower's position, remarks for part of his speech by then U.S. Am- 
bassador Henry Cabot Lodge, the permanent representative to the 
United Nations, who spoke on the floor of the United Nation on De- 
cember 4, 1954, in an effort to gain the freedom of hundreds of 
American servicemen — 40,000 South Korean ROC forces, by the 
way — and American civilians, a handful, held in China, North 
Korea, and the Soviet Union. 

Here is part of what Corso contributed to Ambassador Lodge's 
speech. "It is an immemorial principle of human decency that a 
family look after its own members. A nation must also look after 
its own if it is to continue to be a nation. The thing that sustains 
the man in uniform when he is far from home is the thought that 
he is supported by those for whom he is fighting. We cannot let 
these men down." 

As Colonel Corso told me at dinner a few weeks ago, inexplicably 
the media, which was mainly print in those days, embryonic tele- 
vision, refused to pick up the story, in spite of Ambassador Lodge's 

In the nuclear shadow of the cold war — and this completely es- 
caped the handful of Senators, less than a handful, three — one of 
the three Senators who had bothered to turn out for Colonel 
Corso's testimony before the Senate, waiting to tell a story after all 
these years — one of them completely missed this point. In the nu- 
clear shadow of the cold war, American leaders such as President 
Dwight D. Eisenhower and President John F. Kennedy, were faced 
with what the Jesuits taught me was a classic dilemma, the horns 
of a dilemma. The risk to millions of innocent citizens that might 


have resulted from an ultimatum threatening the use of force to 
gain the release of American POWs from the gulags behind the 
Iron Ciulain and the Bamboo Curtain that had come down around 
most of the population of Asia. 

But today, in 1996, there is no credible explanation for not utiliz- 
ing our greater superpowers, vast resources, to finally keep faith 
with our brave men — in Korea, every one of them older than I am. 
Whether they're alive or dead, we must keep faith with them and 
keep faith with their families. Honor demands that we demand the 
fullest possible accounting of our heroes, even to this day. 

Here is a press release put out by a World War II veteran — he 
looks 30 years younger than his age — the chairman of our Veter- 
ans' Committee here on the House side, Bob Stump. It says that 
this Friday, September 20 — the House won't even be in, so I will 
try to do a memorial on Thursday night — is National POW/MIA 
Recognition Day. I've been a sponsor of this, or a cosponsor, with 
Ben Oilman, when we were minority members. Now he's chairman 
of International Relations and everything I say today I speak for 
my friend, Ben, and for Congressman Sam Johnson of Dallas, TX, 
who was 7 years a prisoner in Hanoi, savagely beaten for not easily 
giving up his honor and code of conduct to tape these phony propa- 
ganda confessions. 

Bob Stump, in this letter, says: 

National POW/MIA Recognition Day allows Americans to comprehend and appre- 
ciate the dedication to life and freedom that these brave men and women endvired 
in the service of their coimtry. A just nation and its people must acknowledge their 
survival in captivity by continuing to assure them and their families that what they 
sacrificed and endured in the face of adversity was not offered in vain. 

In our War of Independence, the Revolutionary War, 20,000 Americans were 
taken prisoner. 8,500 died in captivity. 

I did not know that until I had read Bob's letter. 

During the Civil War, an estimated 194,000 Union soldiers, 214,000 Confederates, 
20,000 more, became POWs. Between the North and South, 56,194 Americans died 
in captivity, some from abuse, but mostly from disease. 

In World War I, 4,120 Americans were taken prisoner. Only, if 
you consider the number, 147 of them died in captivity, forcing a 
third Oeneva Convention covering the humane treatment for pris- 
oners of war. 

In the Koran, it says a man's honor is tested by how he treats 
the helpless ex-warriors that he takes captive in battle. No one 
could ever perceive, nor comprehend, the absolute barbaric treat- 
ment American prisoners experienced in World War II, especially 
at the hands of the Japanese. 

Last night I read a story of Dutch nurses told to march into the 
surf, two dozen. When they were up to their waist in the water, 
the machine guns began to kill them. Ood let one survive to tell 
us that story. Nurses on one of the islands in the Indonesian Island 

"No one could ever perceive, nor comprehend," Bob Stiunp contin- 
ues, "the absolute barbaric treatment, especially at the hands of 
the Japanese." 

"In the Pacific, 11,107 Americans, or 40 percent of those taken 
prisoner, died in captivity." That's 11,107 that died, some of them 
tortured to death. In contrast, of the 93,941 Americans taken pris- 

oner in Europe, all but 1,121, or 1 percent, died. All the rest were 

I want to get into the testimony, so I will put in the record the 
rest of Bob Stump's statement, the chairman of the Veterans' Af- 
fairs Committee, and turn now to my vice-chairman on this com- 
mittee, a very distinguished Virginian, Owen Pickett. 


Mr. Pickett. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Today's hearing is scheduled to cover a broad range of issues, so 
I will be brief in my remarks. 

Recent reports of the possibility of United States prisoners of war 
still being held against their will by North Korea demonstrate that 
important leads may exist that must be pursued aggressively to re- 
solve a tragic issue that began more than 40 years ago. 

It is important that we follow up vigorously on the circumstances 
surrounding the fates of United States Korean-war-era POWs, as 
well as others in Southeast Asia, and develop a comprehensive pol- 
icy for dealing with the issue, because the United States Govern- 
ment has not heretofore conducted the kind of effort that could be 
expected to fully account for all these men. 

The unknown extent of the reported involvement of the Soviet 
Union, China, and other nations in the exploitation, torture, and 
experimentation on United States prisoners of war from Korea and 
Vietnam fully justify the additional investigative work that will be 

It is also becoming increasingly apparent that a full accounting 
of our prisoners and missing in action cannot be achieved until the 
United States has gained the full cooperation of the other nations 

Mr. Chairman, I look forward to the testimony of our witnesses 
today, and again, thank you for holding this hearing. 

Mr. DORNAN. Thank you, Mr. Pickett. 

A document just came into my possession, declassified, from the 
Office of the Secretary of Defense. It's dated October 27, 1956. I re- 
member that month well, fighting to get back on flying status from 
the bailout in August 1956, out of an F-86 Sabre. October 27, 1956. 
That's a long time ago if you weren't bom, but doesn't seem that 
long ago to me. 

It says, "Memorandum: For the Secretary of the Army, Secretary 
of the Navy, Secretary of the Air Force. Actions to obtain the re- 
lease of prisoners of war." I'm only going to read the first para- 

"In signing the Executive order — " family members, memorize 
this date " — August 17, 1955, the President committed all facilities 
of our Government to establish contact with, support and obtain 
the release of all of our prisoners of war." That's from the Execu- 
tive order, August 17, 1955, President Eisenhower. 

"In keeping with this directive, actions have continued to obtain 
the accounting for Korean prisoners of war who may still be held 
by the Commiuiists." 


In a letter from the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Special Oper- 
ations, dated May 29, 1956, "You were requested to review the list 
currently being used in the negotiations to obtain an account- 
ing — " that list was over 400, and today the list is considered at 
389. That's at a hardcore briefing, out of 8th Army Headquarters, 
that 389 category-one prisoners were left behind. And that figure 
is low, I have since found out. 

"Your review and subsequent report — " this is to the three Sec- 
retaries " — have, indeed, compiled the information readily available 
on many of the servicemen whose names are listed." I don't have 
the followup for that, but I can promise you I will get it. 

Our panel; I have met with all three personally. I guess in this 
town that's called vetting. I would like them to stand. This is very 
important. We have been swearing in Congressmen and people 
whose honor is without question, as I believe your honor is, gentle- 
men, but I would ask you please to stand and take the oath. It's 
going to turn out to be very important. 

I will be swearing all witnesses today, as I have done on all the 
other hearings on this. 

[Panel sworn.] 

We will start with Phil Corso, Colonel, U.S. Army, retired, 
former advisor to President Dwight Eisenhower. When some people 
in the bureaucracy tried to discount what you had to say, Mr. 
Corso, we began our document search and requested documents 
from the Eisenhower Library, and to date, every single thing you 
told me, over the phone and in that long dinner we had, has tinned 
out to be precisely correct. Thank you for steering me to the speech 
you helped with for Ambassador Lodge on December 4, 1954. 

Please proceed. If you have a written statement, you can abbre- 
viate it or you may read it in full, whatever you choose. 


Colonel Corso. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and members of the 

During the Korean war, I was head of the Special Projects 
Branch of the Intelligence Division, Far East Command, under 
Gen. Douglas MacArthur. I stayed and served in the same position 
under Generals Ridgeway and Clark. My duties included the pro- 
duction of intelligence on political — counterinsurgency — and sub- 
versive activities by the enemy in both North and South Korea. 

Within this framework, I was responsible for intelligence and 
communist activities — the North Koreans, Chinese, and Soviet — 
within our prisoner of war camps in South Korea and enemy camps 
in North Korea. 

Mr. DORNAN. One interruption. Colonel. You had a long back- 
ground in intelligence and you were in charge of all counter- 
espionage efforts in Rome, after we had liberated Rome 

Colonel Corso. That's right. 

Mr. DORNAN [continuing]. And you were a colonel at 29 years of 
age, or a major 

Colonel Corso. Lieutenant colonel. 

Mr. DORNAN. Please proceed. 

Colonel CORSO. Yes, sir. It goes back to World War II. I was 
trained also by the British. 

In 1953, I was a staff member of the truce delegation at Pan- 
munjom and participated in the discussion for the exchange of sick 
and wounded prisoners of war. I was on the ground and met them 
as the sick and wounded returned. 

During the course of my duties, I discovered that the entire oper- 
ation on the treatment and handling of our prisoners of war was 
supervised, masterminded, and controlled by the Soviet Union, as 
was the entire operation of the war and hostilities in Korea. 

I wrote a study on how this control extended into our POW 
camps holding North Koreans and Chinese in South Korea nomi- 
nally in our control. I titled the study, "War in the POW Camps." 
Soviet policy, conveyed to their allies, was that a soldier taken pris- 
oner is still at war and a combatant. They trained soldiers to be 
taken as prisoners and then agitate in the camps to keep the 
POWs in our custody under their control. 

The brainwashing and atrocities against American prisoners 
were conscious acts of Soviet policy. Not only was it used on our 
prisoners, but on their own people and others under their control. 
The basis for their action was the Pavlovian theory of conditioned 

I had information on medical experiments, Nazi style, on our 
prisoners. The most devilish and cunning was the techniques of 
mind altering — Pavlov, that is. It was just as deadly as brain sur- 
gery, and many of our POW's died under such treatment. This was 
told to me by our own returning POWs. Many POWs willed them- 
selves to death after this treatment. 

My findings revealed that the Soviets taught their allies, the 
Chinese communists and North Koreans, a detailed scientific proc- 
ess aimed at molding prisoners of war into forms in which they 
could be exploited. Returned prisoners who underwent the experi- 
ence reported the experts assigned to mold them were highly 
trained, efficient, and well educated. They were specialists in ap- 
plying deadly psychological treatment which often ended in phys- 
ical torment. The Soviet approach was a deliberate act of their 
overall policy which actively rejects, subverts, and destroys decent 
standards of conduct and the whole structure of human values. 

Upon my return to the United States, I was assigned to the Op- 
erations Coordinating Board [OCB] of the White House National 
Security Council and handled virtually all projects on United 
States prisoners of war. Here I found that United States policy for- 
bade that we win in Korea. The policy amounted to an actual pa- 
ralysis and diversion of activity to force the return of our prisoners 
in enemy hands, including those in the Soviet Union. 

Years later, I discussed this situation with Attorney General 
Robert Kennedy in his office, and he agreed with me. This no-win 
policy is contained in policy directives NSC-68, NSC-68/2, and 
NSC- 135/3. The basis for this pohcy was in directives ORE-750, 
NIE 2, 2/1, 2/2, 10, and 11. We called this the "Fig Leaf PoHcy." 

Recently, the CIA in news releases admitted their national intel- 
ligence estimates were wrong or not accurate. 

In the past, I have tried to tell Congress the fact that in 1953, 
500 sick and wounded American prisoners were within 10 miles of 


the prisoner exchange point at Panmunjom, but were never ex- 
changed. Subsequent information indicated they all died after- 
wards. Although I prepared a statement that was made at the Pan- 
munjom delegation table, I was not asked even one question re- 
garding this event by the Senate committee. 

During my tour of duty as Special Projects manager of the Intel- 
ligence Division of the Far East Command, I received numerous re- 
ports that American POWs had been sent to the Soviet Union. 
These reports were from many sources: Chinese and North Korean 
POWs, agent reports, Nationalist Chinese reports, our guerrillas, 
NSA intercepts, defectors, and from our own returning POWs. 

My intelligence centered around three trainloads of 450 POWs 
each. Two of these trainloads were confirmed over and over, but 
the third was not as certain. Therefore, the final figure was con- 
firmed 900, and 1,200 possibly. These were the figures that I dis- 
cussed with President Eisenhower while I was a member of the 

The bulk of these sightings were at Manchu-li, on the border of 
Manchuria and the USSR. Here the rail gauge changed and the 
United States POWs had to be transferred across a platform to a 
waiting train going into the Soviet Union. These POWs were to be 
exploited for intelligence purposes and subsequently eliminated. 
The methods of exploitation were not only practiced on our POWs, 
but all others falling into Communist hands. 

To the skeptics and debunkers, I have only this to say: By some 
flashback in time, I wish you could be present with me at the pris- 
oner exchanges in Korea in 1953 and look into the faces of those 
sick and wounded prisoners, Americans and allied soldiers, as they 
came across in the exchange. If you had witnessed their sacrifices 
and what they had suffered by Communist hands, you would not 
be a critic or skeptic today. 

I will close with this final remembrance. At Panmunjom, as a 
wounded Turkish soldier was exchanged, he peeled off his Chinese 
clothing and flung them at the nearest Communist guard. I asked 
the Turkish captain standing with me what did he say, and he an- 
swered, "Till we meet again." And many U.S. prisoners also re- 
sented the treatment that had been received. 

That's the end of my statement, Mr. Chairman. If you have any 
questions, I will answer them. 

[The prepared statement of Colonel Corso follows:! 

Statement of Colonel (ret.) Phillip Corso 

During the Korean War, I was Head of the Special Projects Branch/Intelligence 
Division/Far East Command. Genersd Douglas MacArthur was in command. I stayed 
and served in the same position under General Ridgway and General Clark. My du- 
ties included the production of intelligence on poUtical (counter-insvu-gency) and sub- 
versive activities by the enemy in both North and South Korea. Within this frame- 
work I was responsible for intelligence and communist activities (north Korean, Chi- 
nese and Soviet) within our prisoner of war camps in South Korea and the enemy 
camps in North Korea. In 1953, I was a staff member of the truce delegation at Pan- 
munjom and participated in the discussion for the exchange of sick and wounded 
prisoners. I was on the ground and met and talked with our returning sick and 


During the course of my duties, I discovered that the entire operation on the 
treatment and handling of our prisoners of war was supervised, masterminded and 
controlled by the Soviet Union, as was the entire operation of the war and hostilities 
in Korea. I wrote a study on how this control extended into our POW camps holding 
North Koreans and Chinese in South Korea, nominally in our control. I titled the 
study, "WAR IN THE POW CAMPS." Soviet policy, conveyed to their allies, was 
that a soldier taken prisoner is still at war and a combatant. They trained soldiers 
to be taken as prisoners and then agitate in the camps to keep the POWs in our 
custody under their control. 

The brainwashing and atrocities against American prisoners were conscious acts 
of Soviet policy. Not only was it used on our prisoners, but on their own people and 
others under their control. The basis for their action was the Pavlovian theory of 
conditioned reflexes. 

I had information on medical experiments (Nazi style) on our prisoners. The most 
devilish and cunning was the techniques of mind altering (Pavlov). It was just as 
deadly as brain surgery and many U.S. POWs died under such treatment. This was 
told to me by our own returning POWs. Many POWs willed themselves to death. 

My findings revealed that the Soviets taught their allies, the Chinese Communists 
and North Koreans, a detailed scientific process aimed at molding prisoners of war 
into forms in which they could be exploited. Returned prisoners who underwent the 
experience reported the experts assigned to mold them were highly trained, efficient 
and well educated. They were specialists in applying a deadly psychological treat- 
ment which often ended in physical torment. The Soviet approach was a deliberate 
act of their overall policy which actively rejects, subverts and destroys decent stand- 
ards of conduct and the whole structure of human values. 

Upon my return to the United States, I was assigned to the Operations Coordinat- 
ing Board (OCB) of the White House, National Security Council, and handled vir- 
tually all project to U.S. prisoners of war. Here I found out that U.S. policy forbade 
that we win in Korea. The policy amounted to an actual paralysis and diversion of 
activity to force the return of our prisoners in enemy hands, including those in the 
Soviet Union. 

Years later, I discussed this situation with Attorney General Robert Kennedy in 
his office and he agreed with me. This "no win" policy is contained in policy direc- 
tives NSC-68, NCS-68/2 and NSC-135/3. The basis for this policy was in directives 
ORE-750, NIE 2, 2/1, 2/2, 10 and 11. We called this the "Fig leaf policy." 

Note: Recently, the CIA in news releases admitted their NIE (National Intel- 
ligence Estimates) were wrong or not accurate. 


In the past I have tried to tell Congress the fact that in 1953, 500 sick and 
wounded American prisoners were within ten miles of the prisoner exchange point 
at Panmunjom but were never exchanged. (Subsequent information indicated that 
they all died afterwards.) Although I prepared a statement that was made at the 
Panmunjom delegation table, I was not asked even one question regarding this 

During my tour of duty as the chief of the Special Projects Section of the Intel- 
ligence Division of the Far East Command, I received numerous reports that Amer- 
ican POWs has been sent to the Soviet Union. These reports were from many 
sources: Chinese and North Korean POWs, agent reports, Nationalist Chinese re- 
ports, our guerrillas, NSA Intercepts, defectors and from our own returning POWs. 

My intelligence centered around three train loads of 450 POWs each. Two of these 
trainloads were confirmed over and over, the third was not as certain. Therefore, 
the final figure was, "confirmed 900, and 1,200 possibly." These were the figures 
that I discovered with President Eisenhower while I was a member of his NSC. 

The bulk of the sightings were at Manchu-li, on the border of Manchuria and the 
USSR. Here the rail gauge changed and the U.S. POWs had to be transferred across 
a platform to a waiting train going to the Soviet Union. These POWs were to be 
exploited for intelligence purposes and subsequently eliminated. The methods of ex- 


ploitation were not only practiced on our POWs, but all others falling into com- 
munist hands. 

To the skeptics and debunkers, I have only this to say: By some flashback in time, 
I wish you could be present with me at the prisoner exchanges in Korea in 1953 
and look into the faces of those sick and wounded prisoners — Americans and allied 
soldiers — as they came across in the exchange. If you had witnessed their sacrifices 
and what they had suffered by communist hands, you would not be a critic or skep- 
tic today. 

I will close with this final remembrance. At Panmunjom, as a wounded Turkish 
soldier was exchanged, he peeled off" the Chinese padded clothing and flung them 
at the nearest communist guard. I asked the Tvirkish Captain standing with me, 
"What did he say?" He answered, 'Till we meet again." 

Mr. DORNAN. Thank you. 

What I would hke to do is take all three testimonies before we 
ask any questions. But first, before Mr. Douglass and General 
Sejna, I would like to play for the committee — if we could turn the 
sets almost perpendicular to the audience, I think the audience, 
and particularly the family members visiting the chamber today, 
can see it. 

This is a statement by Soviet General Kalugin, who a recent de- 
fector said knows a hundred times more than he is telling us, and 
he's telling us more than anybody else in the Soviet system at this 
time. Vogel Gamov, the Russian general who just died, the histo- 
rian who at the end said that Lenin was just as evil and as much 
a mass killer as Stalin, wrote the book "Trotsky" right before he 
died, he was a valuable resource. He worked on the U.S. Commis- 
sion with Ambassador Malcomb Toone, but I don't believe he knows 
as much about General Kalugin. 

On the tape is a beautiful daughter, super intelligent, whose fa- 
ther was lost in Vietnam, Robertson. Unfortunately, she died, at 
just a young age, last year, the mother of three children, I think. 
She had to take the bull by the horns and go over to the Soviet 
Union, because our country wasn't properly investigating, as I said, 
like a Sherlock Holmes, and she is the interviewer of Gen. Oleg 
Kalugin. He was director, the director of counterintelligence for the 
infamous KGB, all through the 1970's. That's the Nixon years, 
Ford years, Jimmy Carter years. 

Please start the tape. This is Deborah Robertson. 

[Video presentation.] 

Mr. DORNAN. Deborah went to grade school where all of my five 
children went to grade school, and her mom and dad were married 
at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Westwood — I lived across the 
street, and that's where one of my daughters was married. It's just 
unbelievable to me that Deborah has gone to Heaven. 

All right. Let's take Mr. Douglass, first, Joseph Douglass, Jr., De- 
fense analyst and author. You wrote the book "Red Cocaine," as I 
recall, and I quoted from it on the House floor. It was dismissed 
out of hand, disrespected, dismissed, by some in the bureaucracy 
in the Republican administration. In your testimony, if it's not al- 
ready there, tell us how you first met General Sejna. 




Mr. Douglass. Congressman Doman, members of the committee, 
ladies and gentlemen. It is a privilege to be asked to participate in 
your hearings. 

Let me begin by thanking you for your efforts to learn what hap- 
pened to all the missing American servicemen. I believe this task 
is one of the most pressing and moral challenges our Nation faces. 

I have worked in the national security area for close to 35 years. 
During this time, I have worked on many very unpleasant subjects: 
nuclear war, chemical and biological warfare, deception, narcotics 
trafficking, and others. 

However, I can honestly say that nothing has left me with a 
more profound sense of sadness, frustration and anger than has my 
work in the POW/MIA area. We ask our young men, many of them 
barely out of high school, to leave their families and friends, and 
to sacrifice their lives for their country, and even for other coun- 
tries. They leave not knowing if they will live to return or, if they 
do, what condition they will be in. But they go, and relatively few 
complain. They believe that America places great value on human 
life and that whatever can be done will be done to support them 
in battle. 

Most important, they also believe, as expressed so well in the 
final report of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, 
that "the single most basic principle of personal honor in America's 
armed forces is never willingly to leave a fellow serviceman be- 

Most Americans, civilian and military, sincerely believe in this 
principle. And when the chips are down, Americans have great 
faith in their leaders and institutions. We may not agree with all 
their policies and mannerisms, but we do stand behind them, espe- 
cially during a crisis. 

This is why coming to terms with the POW/MIA issue is such a 
difficult process. None of us want to believe that this fundamental 
code of honor, this trust between our country and those sent to 
fight its wars, has been broken, repeatedly broken, not by those 
sent to fight the wars but by our own leaders. This is a painful re- 
alization that is very hard to reach. 

But this is what I now believe, that thousands of American youth 
who went to war to serve their country were knowingly and delib- 
erately abandoned after the war was over. They were not simply 
abandoned because they were dead; they were just abandoned, 
abandoned, as many of us now believe, to a life worse than death. 

Nor is this where the story ends, because our government's sub- 
sequent efforts seem to have been directed first to deny any were 
abandoned, and then to bury information that might show what 
really happened to those still missing. 

In short, the search for the truth has been a charade. The best 
description of this process that I have read is the letter of resigna- 
tion written by Col. Millard Peck, who headed the Defense POW/ 
MIA office in 1990. His letter presents a sobering eyewitness ac- 
count of the mendacity and duplicity that have attended our Gov- 
ernment's efforts to recover missing American servicemen. My ex- 
perience certainly supports what Colonel Peck described. 


I have been involved in POW studies since 1992, when a friend 
first told me about the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Af- 
fairs. He said that he thought the committee would be very inter- 
ested in the information I had acquired during my work with Gen. 
Maj. Jan Sejna, who is here today to share with you his knowledge. 

It is most important to recognize who General Sejna is and why 
his information is so important. General Sejna is, to my knowledge, 
the most important Communist official ever to seek political asy- 
lum in the West, which he did at the end of February 1968. 

Before he defected, Greneral Sejna held a variety of key positions 
in Czechoslovakia. He was a member of the Czech Central Commit- 
tee and the Parliament, which roughly corresponds to our Con- 
gress. At the Parliament, he was a member of the Presidium, 
which was the inner circle, and of the Party Group, which gave the 
marching instructions to the Presidium and to the whole Par- 
liament. He was a member of the bureau at the Main Political Ad- 
ministration, which is the party watchdog over the military. This 
administration also has an important role in the formation and im- 
plementation of policy. 

Early in his career, General Sejna helped set up the Czech De- 
fense Council, which was patterned after the Soviet Defense Coun- 
cil, which is the highest ranking decisionmaking body in areas of 
defense, intelligence, counterintelligence, and national security. He 
was the de facto secretary of the Defense Council and in charge of 
the Defense Council secretariat for several years. 

He was first secretary of the party at the Ministry of Defense, 
Chief of Staff to the Minister of Defense, he served on the Min- 
ister's Collegium, and he was a member of the military section of 
the Administrative Organs Department of the Central Committee. 

In brief. General Sejna was a member of the decisionmaking hi- 
erarchy, one of the roughly 10 or so most knowledgeable officials 
in Czechoslovakia. He met regularly with top Communist officials 
from the Soviet Union and around the world. 

Mr. Chairman, I am not trying to exaggerate his importance. It 
is simply crucial that everyone understand where he is coming 
from. He was where the action was. What he has to say is not 
hearsay or secondhand information. It is all firsthand knowledge. 
He was there, he is an eyewitness, and it is his personal experi- 
ences he is reporting. 

I first met General Sejna in the late 1970's. We subsequently 
have worked together on a wide variety of projects. I have never 
known him to be deceptive or misleading in describing any of his 
experiences as a top Communist official. Nor have I ever met any- 
one who had worked closely with him who did not have the highest 
respect for his information. 

General Sejna was the first person to explain the importance of 
the Defense Council to U.S. intelligence. He is also the person who 
first laid out in detail the role of the Soviet Union in organizing 
and training terrorists, and who first told people about the Soviet 
long-range strategic plan and about their extremely effective nar- 
cotics trafficking operation. Indeed, it was during my investigations 
of the Soviet narcotics trafficking operation, which led to the book 
"Red Cocaine," that I first became aware of Soviet operations with 
American POW's. 


I have also personally witnessed numerous efforts by people who 
did not like what he had to say to discredit him and his informa- 
tion, just as happened when I tried to bring his information to the 
attention of the Senate Select Committee. 

As soon as I began looking into the POW/MIA problem, I con- 
cluded that General Sejna's information was of major importance, 
so much so that I met several times with him to conduct some very 
specific debriefings to confirm the depth and breadth of his knowl- 

The more I talked to him, the more I knew how important it was 
to bring his knowledge to the attention of the right people, yet do 
it in such a way that his information could be confirmed and used 
to learn more about what happened to the missing Americans be- 
fore the Russians or the North Koreans or Vietnamese were able 
to learn what was afoot and silence potential witnesses, bum docu- 
ments, or otherwise cover their tracks. 

This is when I started to learn the real truth about our Govern- 
ment's POW/MIA efforts. As I began talking to people on the Sen- 
ate Committee staff, there seemed to emerge, in parallel, a variety 
of efforts from people within the Defense Intelligence Agency and 
the Central Intelligence Agency and elsewhere to discredit General 
Sejna, to sabotage his information, and to alert the Czech and Rus- 
sian intelligence services about what he was saying. 

In rethinking this process, I concluded that probably one of the 
most important points to make to you is that, to my knowledge, 
there has been no effort by anyone, in the Government, in any 
agency or official capacity, to learn what General Sejna knows, ex- 

Mr. DORNAN. Please pause right there for a little absorption 

If what you're saying is true, and people at the highest level of 
Government believed him — so you're talking about lower level and 
middle level bureaucrats — they were endangering his life, given 
what I've learned of assassinations, with little tiny poison BB's, 
smaller than a BB, stuck into someone's leg on the subway. The 
Bulgarians were good at that. They were jeopardizing his life, cor- 
rect, if they were giving information to the Czech Communist Gov- 

Mr. Douglass. I don't think they ever gave that any concern. 
They hadn't in the past, to my knowledge. The problem was 

Mr. DORNAN. That's interesting. It's the first thing that popped 
into my mind. So their not having any concern indicates to me that 
somebody shouldn't even be in that job. That's what I keep bump- 
ing into all along with this Sherlock Holmes line of mine. That's 
a failure of someone's brain matter. The synapses aren't working 
logically, to think that they could give out that kind of information 
and not have someone killed in this country. 

Mr. Douglass. That's very true. It's similar to the classified 
memo that they sent around — actually, it was unclassified, I be- 
lieve, or classified at the time — where they talk about him being 
a very sensitive source, and then describe in sufficient detail that 
nobody could help but know who it was. 

Mr. DORNAN. Proceed. 


Mr. Douglass. This has happened repeatedly. 

There is only one exception that I'm aware of, to my statement 
that nobody ever talked to him to learn what he knew. That excep- 
tion is that they did, to the extent necessary, assess how much of 
a threat he represented to the efforts designed to sweep the whole 
matter under the rug. That's the only exception that I'm aware of. 

It is not that people debriefed him, analyzed his information, and 
then rejected it. They did not want to know in the first place. And, 
with few exceptions, I believe they still do not want to know. 

Toward the end of 1992, I became so personally shocked at the 
efforts to bury his information that I took it upon myself to work 
with him to reconstruct the events related to American POWs as 
best he could recollect them. 

The essence of his information is that American POWs, and to 
a lesser extent, South Korean and South Vietnamese POWs, were 
used by the Soviets as laboratory specimens, human guinea pigs, 
if you will, for training military doctors and for conducting experi- 
ments with drugs, chemical and biological warfare agents, and 
atomic radiation. I have prepared a fairly detailed paper based on 
these debriefings of General Sejna, and some of my own experi- 
ences in this process, for your use. I will leave a copy of this paper 
with the committee. I will not summarize General Sejna's informa- 
tion further because I believe he will do that himself in a few min- 

By 1993, it was clear to me that the efforts of people in our Gov- 
ernment had thoroughly alerted the Communist officials, former 
Communist officials, and intelligence services, about the emergence 
of Sejna's information. The possibility of surprise has been almost 
totally destroyed. 

Accordingly, I decided to publish the essence of Sejna's informa- 
tion so that at least the American public could be aware of this 
facet of the POW/MIA problem. I also hoped that maybe the infor- 
mation would find its way on to the desk of that rare individual 
who, like Colonel Peck, was truly interested in learning what hap- 

The Conservative Review published my article in late 1993. It 
elicited no response from within the Government, but several peo- 
ple outside the Government were astounded with the information, 
so much so that I prepared an even more detailed accounting that 
was published in October, 1994, and January, 1995. 

While the information in these articles was extensive, it still rep- 
resented only a small portion of what was available. For example, 
I deliberately withheld information that could be best used in 
tracking down additional information on American servicemen who 
might still be alive. I felt it was prudent to withhold this informa- 
tion to prevent its sabotage by the same forces that had blown the 
whistle on Sejna and his knowledge so effectively in 1992. 

As you might guess, again there was absolutely no response from 
anyone in the Government. Indeed, even the news media and jour- 
nalists were, for the most part, silent. But this is understandable. 
The charges inherent in the information are extremely serious. The 
use of hundreds to thousands of American POWs in gruesome 
medical experiments. However, while we may not like the facts, it 
seems to me that we have to examine them, all of them, independ- 


ent of where they may lead, and even if the trail is likely to lead 
to war crimes of a nature not seen since World War II. 

A related problem, of course, and one that you referred to, Mr. 
Chairman, is that no one seems to want to hold the Communists 
or Russian leadership accountable. Since the Soviet Union was 
bom in 1917, few people have been willing to confront the evils of 
their system. 

I guess one of the key questions today is, has an3d;hing changed? 
Is anyone today willing to confront the Russians and the entire 
array of former and remaining Communists? Does our country 
today have the moral courage to do what is right, or will the usual 
political and commercial interests prevail? 

I cannot adequately express my own feelings on how important 
this task is. We owe it to all those still missing, and to all those 
who will be asked to serve in the future. If the United States does 
not take the strongest possible stand in opposition to injustices of 
this magnitude, how can we ever expect to put an end to them? 

Thank you very much for this opportunity to share with you my 
feelings. I certainly look forward to assisting in any way I can to 
help better learn what has happened and to recover those who may 
still be alive. 

Thank you. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Joseph D. Douglass follows:] 


Slalemcnt of Joseph D. Douglass before ilw Military Personnel Subcommittee 
of the House National Security Coinmiltee. September 17. 1996 

Congressman Dornan, members of the House National Security Committee, ladies and 
gentlemen. It is a privilege to be asked to participate in your hearings. 

Let me begin by thanking you for your efforts to learn what happened to the missing 
American servicemen. I believe this task is one of the most pressing and moral challenges our 
nation faces. 

1 liave worked in the national security area for close to thirty-five years. During this 
time I have worked on many very unpleasant subjects; nuclear war, chemical and biological 
warfare, decqjlion, narcotics trafficking, and othei s. 

However. I can honestly say that nothing his left mc with a more profound sense of 
sadness, frustration, and anger than has my work in the POW/MIA area. 

We ask our young men. many of tliem barely out of high school, to leave their families 
and friends, and to sacrifice their lives for their country, and even for other countries. They 
leave not knowing if they will live to return or, if ?hey do. what condition they will be in. 

But they go, and relatively few complain. They believe tliat America places great value 
on human life and that whatever can be done to suLJporl ihem in battle will be done. 

Most important, they also believe, as expressed so well in the Senate Select Committee 
on POWyMIA Affairs final report, that "the single most basic principle of personal honor in 
America's armed forces is never willingly to leave a fellow serviceiruin behind. " 

Most Americans, civilian and military, sincerely believe in this principle. 

And, when the chips arc down, Americans have gical faitli in their leaders and 
institutions. We may not agree with all their policies and mannerisms, but wc do stand bclund 
them, especially during a crisis. 

This is why coming to terms witli the POW/MIA issue is such a difficult process. None 
of us want to believe that this fundamental code of honor, this trust between our country and 
those sent to fight its wars, has been broken, repeatedly broken — not by those sent to figlit 
the wars but by our own leaders. This is a painful realization tliat is very hard to reach. 

But. this is what I now believe; thai tliousaiods of American youth who went to war to 
serve their country were knowingly and dcliberaielly abandoned after the war was over, lliey 
were not shnply abandoned because they were dead — they were just abandoned; abandoned, 
as many of us now believe, to a life worse than deiilh. 

Nor is this where the story ends, because our government's subsequent efforts seem to 
have been directed first to deny any were abandonial, and then to bury information that might 
show what really happened to those still missing. 

In short, the search for the "truth" has been mainly a charade. The best description of 
the process diat I have read is the letter of resignation written by Col. Millard Peck, who 
headed the Defense POW/MlA office in 1 990. His Icncr presents a sobering cye-witne.<« 


account of the mendacity and duplicity that have attended our government's efforts to recover 
missing American servicemen. My experience certiiniy supports what Col. Peck described. 

1 have been involved in POW snidies since 1 992 when a friend first told mc about tlic 
Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. He said that he thought the Coiiunittee woujd 
be very interested in the information I had acquircc' during my work witJi General Major Jan 
Scjna, who is here today to share with you his knowledge. 

It is most important here to recognize who General Sejna is and why his information is 
so important. 

General Sejna is, to my knowledge, the mo:t important communist official ever to seek 
political asylum in the West, which he did at the erd of February 1968. Before he defected, 
Genera] Scjua had held a variety of key positions in Czechoslovakia. 

He was a raember of the Czech Centra] Corruniuee and the Parliament, which roughly 
corresponds to our Congress. At the PKrliament he was a member of the Presidium, which was 
the inner circle, and of the Party Group, which gave the marching instructions to the 
Presidium and to the Parliament. 

He was a member of the bureau at tlic Main Political Administration which is the Parly 
watchdog over the military. This administration also has an important role in the formation 
and implementation of policy. 

Early in his career. Gen. Scjna helped set up the Czech Defense Council, which was 
patterned after the Soviet Defense Council, which is the highest lanking decision-making body 
in areas of defense, intelligeiKe, counter-intelligence, and national security. He was the de 
facto .secretary of the Defense Council and in charge of the Defense Council .secretariat for 
several yeats. 

He was first secretary of the party at the Ministry of Defense, Chief of Staff to the 
Minister of Defense, and he served on the Minister's Kollegium. And, he was a member of tlic 
military section of the Administrative Organs Dcpartmeni of the Central Committee. 

In brief, Gcu. Sejna was a member of the decision-making hierarchy, one of the ten 
most knowledgeable officials in Czechoslovakia Hi met regularly with top communist 
officials from the Soviet Union and around the world. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I am not trying to exaggerate his importance. It is simply crucial 
that you understand where lie is coming from. He \/as where the action was. What he has to 
say is not hearsay or second-hand infoniution. It is all first-hand knowledge. He was there. 
He is an eye-witness. It is his personal experiences he is reporting. 

I first met General Sejna in the late 1970s. >Ve subsequenily have worked together on a 
variety of projects. 1 have never known him to be deceptive or misleading in describing his 
experiences as a top commujiist official. Nor have 1 ever met anyone who had worked closely 
with him who did not have the highest respect for his information. 

Gen. Sejna was the first person to explain the importance of the Defense Council lo 
U.S. intelligence. He is also the person who first laid out in detail the role of the Soviet Union 


in organizing and iraining terrnrists. and who flrsi told people about the Soviet long-range 
strategic plaii, and about their extremely effective narcotics trafficking intelligence operation. 
It was in jny investigations of the Soviet narcoiioi iiafficking operation that I first became 
aware of Soviet operations with American POWs. 

I have also personally witnessed numerous ufforis by people who did not like what he 
had to say to discredit him and his information, just as happened when I tried to bring his 
information to the attention of the Senate Select Commiuee. 

As soon as I began looking into the POW/MIA problem, I concluded that General 
Sejna's information was of major importance, so iruch so that I met several times with him to 
condua some very specific dcbriefings to confirm ihe depth and breadth of his knowledge. 

The more I talked to him, the more 1 knew how important it was to bring his 
knowledge to the attention of the right people, yet do it in such a way that his information 
could be confirmed and used to learn more about \» fiat happened to the missing Americans 
before tlie Russians, or North Koreans, or Vietnamese were able to learn what was afoot and 
silence potential witnesses, bum documents, or otherwise cover their tracks. 

This is when I started lo learn the real truth about our government's POW/MIA efforts. 
As I began talking to people on the Select Committee staff there seemed lo emerge ii^ pai-allel « 
variety of efforts from people within the DIA and CIA and elsewhere to discredit General 
Sejna, sabotage his information, and alert the Czeclt and Russian intelligence services about 
what he was saying. 

In rethinking this process, I concluded that one of the most impoitant points to make is 
ibat to my knowledge there has been no effort by anyone one in government in any agency or 
official capacity to learn what Gen Sejna knows, except to the extent necessary to assess how 
much a threat he represented to the efforts designed to sweep the whole matter under tlic rug. 

It is not that people debriefed him, analyzed liis information, and iheji rejected it. They 
did not want to know in the first place. And, with fsw exceptions, they still do not want to 
know. This is one of the real challenges your comuiinee faces. 

Toward the end of 1992. 1 became so personally shocked at the efforts to bury hi.s 
information thai I look it upon myself to work with Gen Sejna to reconstruct tlie events related 
to American POWs as best he could recollect them. 

The essence of bis information is that American POWs. and to a lesser extent South 
Korean and South Vietnamese POWs, were used b> the Soviets as laboratory specimens — 
human guinea pigs — for training military doctors <ind for conducting experiments with drugs, 
chemical and biological warfare agents, and atomic radiation. 1 have prepared a paper based 
on my debriefing.s of General Sejna and my own experience for your u.«e. I believe General 
Sejna will summarize his knowledge for you in a few minutes. 

By 1993 it was clear to me that the efforts of people in our government had thoroughly 
alerted the former communist officials and intelligence services about tlie emergence of Sejna's 
information. The possibility of surprise has been almost totally destroyed. 


According, J decided to publish the essence of Sejna's information so that ai least the 
American public could be aware of this facet of [ha POW/MIA problem. I also hoped that 
maybe the information would find its way on to Ih*: desk of that rare individual who, like Col. 
Peck, was truly interested in learning what happened. 

The Conservative Revie^> published my article in laie 1993. It elicited no response from 
within the government, but several people outside Lhe government were astounded with tlie 
information — so much so thai T prepared an even more detailed accoimting that was published 
in October 1994 and January 1995. 

While the information presented in these aiiicles was extensive, it still only represented 
a small portion of what was available For example, I deliberately withheld informarion thai 
could be best used in tracking down additional information on American servicemen who 
might still be alive. I felt it was prudent to withhold this information to prevent its sabotage by 
the same forces that had blown the whistle on Scjai and his knowledge so effectively in 1992. 

As you might guess, again there was absolutely no response from anyone in the 
govermnem. Indeed, even the news media for the rnosi pan refused to cover the story, I 
suspect because the charges ajvl details in the information were so extensive that anyone would 
immediately understand that what was at issue was the perpetration of war crimes of a 
magninidc not experienced since the end of World War IJ. 

The problem, of course, is that no one Rccms to want to hold the communist or Russian 
leadership accountable. Since the Soviet Union was born in 1917, few people have been 
willing to confront the evils of their system. 

One of the key questions today is. has anyt^ling changed? Is anyone today willing to 
conftront the Russians and the entire array of former and remaining communists? 

Does our country wday have the moral coui-age to do what is right, or will the usual 
political and commercial interests prevail? 

I can not adequately express my own feelin{;s on how important this task is. We owe it 
to all lliosc still missing, and to all those who will be asked to serva in the future. If the United 
Slates docs not take the strongest possible stand in opposition to what has happened, how can 
we ever expect to put an end to such atrocities? 

Thank you for this opportunity to share with you my feelings. I will be happy to assist 
in any way I can to learn what happened and to recover those who may still be alive. 


Report Prepared for Hearings of the Subcommittee on Military Persormel, 
National Security Committee, House of Representatives 

Missing American Servicemen 
Abandoned for "Foreign Policy" Reasons 

Joseph D. Douglass Jr. 

American POWs were used as "laboratory specimens" by Soviet, Czech, and North 
Korean doctors during the Korean War. This information is the subject of a secret Defense 
Intelligence Agency (DIA) report that was released on June 21, 1996, by Congressman Robert 

The experiments were performed at a "Czech built hospital in North Korea." The 
experiments were conducted to "develop methods of modifying human behavior and destroying 
psychological resistance," to "study the effects of various drugs and environmental conditions on 
American soldiers and pilots," and to "train Czechoslovakian and Soviet doctors under wartime 

"At the conclusion of the testing program a number of American POWs were 
executed. preclude public exposure of the information." Up to "several dozen" unwilling 
participants may have been executed. 

These are direct quotes from the DIA report and its covering memo. Since 1973, when 
only 586 out of over 2,000 missing POWs were repatriated during Operation Homecoming, the 
friends and families of the missing have asked, "Where are ihey; please, tell us the truth." Their 
ranks quickly swelled as they were joined by the families of the over 8,000 who never returned 
from Korea and over 20,000 who never returned from WWII. 

The information on the experimental use of American POWs came to light, according to 
the DIA report, in September 1990 when Air Force Intelligence began questioning a United 
States Government (USG) source about Soviet POW interrogation techniques. DIA said they 
first learned about the information shortly after Desert Storm came to an end and that they 
launched an investigation that continued up until the date of the just-released report, April 27, 

After DIA had completed their investigative effort, the source was polygraphed on the 
essential elements of the reported information and "no deception " was uncovered. Additionally, 
DIA stated that ''the source has provided reliable information to the USG for over 20 years" and 
that he was ''well placed in that he personally saw progress reports on the work in North Korea 
that were forwarded to top leadership in the Czech Central Committee and Ministry of Defense." 
In brief, he was an impeccable source. 

The DIA covering memo further explains that he "remains a very sensitive source" who 
is "most reluctant to have his identity become known or to be tied to the information he 
provided." The source's concern is not without reason. Just on the basis of the information in the 
short DIA report, there is every reason to shift from a search for missing Americans to an 
investigation into war crimes of a nature not seen since the end of WWII. Accordingly, the report 


was "classified both to protect the source's identity and to ensure proper security is maintained 
during possible demarche and follow-up investigative activity." 

According to the memo, copies of the DIA report were furnished only to the Secretary 
and Deputy Secretar\' of Defense, the Under Secretary for Policy, and the Assistant Secretary 
(Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence). No copies were sent to the military 
departments, the intelligence agencies, the Department of State, the temporary Senate Select 
Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, or the House POW/MIA Task Force, all of whom are 
normally on the distribution of POW/MIA material. DIA was concerned that such distribution 
"could serious impact ongoing foreign policy activities of the United States Government." 

Looking Beneath the Surface 

On its surface, the report and covering memorandum present the impression that DIA was 
seriously concerned for the safety of the source and had mounted a detailed investigation, 
including an ^'intensive and extensive review of open source literature and archived intelligence 
materials." They even say they tasked CIA to do likewise and to query the Czechoslovakian 
Intelligence Services about the information Sejna had provided. 

But wait: why would anyone go to one of the organizations whose predecessor played a 
key role in these most heinous operations and ask for their assistance? Would not the prudent 
approach be to first conduct a covert investigation right up to the objective of finding any 
survivors and verifying the guilt or innocence of those accused of the crimes? Unfortunately, 
without a tremendous amount of information that the DIA is not about to provide, the reader is at 
a loss of what to conclude. 

However, to those who have experienced the DIA/POW-MIA office in action, their 
memo and report are quickly seen to be a living example of the duplicity and mendacity that 
have characterized our government's efforts to "leam what happened" since the end of WWII. 
The report and memo are clearly designed to cover the DIA/POW-MIA's backside. The reason it 
was not sent to Congress had little to do with the safety of the source. Rather, it likely was not 
sent to Congress to avoid drawing any attention to the importance of the source, which the DIA 
and CIA were actively trying to discredit, and especially to the fact that the source had passed a 
polygraph. Moreover, the last thing DIA and CIA wanted was an "intensive and extensive" 
review of the evidence. Nor did either want an effort mounted to track down valuable leads. 

Admittedly, these are strong words. But, are they justified? To better judge what is 
happening, lets look at "the rest of the story," as Paul Harvey would say. 

Who is the "very sensitive source"? While several sources have provided the same 
"essential elements," including two in-place agents, in this particular case the identity of the 
source can be deduced from statements in the DIA memo that indicate he had defected over 20 
years earlier, was from Czechoslovakia, and was "well placed." 

The source has to have been General Major Jan Sejna who had defected in Trieste to the 
United States in late February 1968. General Sejna was no ordinary army officer. Prior to his 
defection he was a member of the Czech Central Committee, the National Assembly, the 
Presidium, and the Main Party Group in the Presidium that told the Presidium and National 
Assembly what to do. He was acting Secretary of the Defense Council, also known as the 
Military Committee of the Central Committee, which he had helped set up in 1956 and which is 


the top decision-making body, higher than the PoHtburo, in matters of defense, intelligence, 
counter-intelligence, deception, and internal security in the communist system. He was a member 
of the Main Political Administration that watches over the entire military establishment and of its 
governing Bureau. He was First Secretary of the Party at the Ministry of Defense MoD, Chief of 
Staff to the Minister of Defense and a member of the Minister's KoUegium. He was also a 
member of the military section of the Administrative Organs Department and was on a wide 
variety of government and Party committees. 

Sejna was not just ''well placed," as described in the DIA memo. He was one of the seven 
or eight most knowledgeable individuals at the top of the Czech nomenclatura. He was 
personally responsible for monitoring many of the most sensitive operations and for 
disseminating Defense Council decisions and operational instructions. He was also the primary 
MoD interface with the Soviet Union. And, his memory was excellent. 

The DlA's description of the experiments that the military and medical intelligence 
doctors from Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union conducted on American and other nationality 
POWs really does not do them justice. The DIA report leaves out nearly all the devastating 
details. For example, part of the training of the military doctors was amputations. America Gls 
were used as subjects, not much different from the horrors American POWs suffered in WWII at 
the hands of the Japanese. The Czechs had also built a crematorium in North Korea to dispose of 
the body parts and the soldiers themselves when all their parts were used up. 

The soldiers were also used to test a wide variety of experimental mind control and 
behavior modification drugs, as indicated in the DIA report. The Korean War era propaganda 
films of American soldiers extolling the benefits of communism while decrying the evils of 
democracy were the product of exactly such mind control drugs. Another aspect the DIA left out 
was the use of American POWs to test biological and chemical warfare agents and their use to 
determine lethal and sublethal effects of atomic radiation, and to determine how much physical 
and psychological stress the American soldiers could endure, in contrast to the Asians, who were 
also among the guinea pigs. 

How many POWs became guinea pigs? The DIA report refers to "several dozen" 
unwilling participants being executed. The only other reference to size is the DIA statement that 
the Czech built hospital was a "large hospital facility," with no indication of how large is large. 

Just to place things in perspective, the issue is not a small handful of POWs. The hospital 
was designed for 200 "patients." It was often overcrowded and at one time held 600 patients. No 
patients were known ever to have left the hospital alive, except the roughly 100 who were still 
alive after the shooting stopped and still regarded as useful experimental subjects and, hence, 
shipped back to the Soviet Union through Czechoslovakia for more testing, another small item 
the DIA report neglects to mention. 

The DIA report also neglects to explain that the same thing happened during the Vietnam 
War, with experiments conducted on American POWs in North Vietnam and Laos and with 
several hundred (probably over 300) American POWs shipped to the Soviet Union (this time 
through Czechoslovakia, North Korea, and Germany) to serve as guinea pigs for more secretive 
tests and experiments that could not be conducted in Vietnam. The DIA memo also neglects to 
explain that the Koreans and North Vietnamese also provided captured American POWs to 


China for similar research during the Korean and Vietnam Wars and that the Soviets also used 
prisoners as experimental subjects during WWII. 

When Did They Know and What Did They Do? 

The DIA memo creates the impression that the first anyone knew about the Czech 
hospital in North Korea and experimental use of US POWs was September, 1990, when Air 
Force Intelligence debriefed a "USG source" on Soviet POW interrogation techniques, and that 
DIA only found out about the lead after the conclusion of Desert Storm (presumably in February 
or March 1991). Without intending to dispute this story, one has to ask why, if they knew about 
the source in early 1991, did they wait until the summer of 1992 to question the source, who had 
been a DIA employee since about 1981 and who was in an office just aroimd the comer from 
DIA headquarters at Boiling Air Force Base and nearly always readily available for questioning? 

I know one DIA section knew about the Czech hospital in North Korea and its use during 
the Korean War no later than January 22, 1987, which was when I briefed a group often DIA 
analysts and their group leader on Soviet narcotics trafficking strategy, whose origins are tied to 
autopsies conducted at the hospital. 1 described the role of the hospital and its use in 
experimenting on US POWs in greater detail than is presented in the just-released 1992 DIA 

Less than a month later 1 briefed one of the DIA deputy directors and several of his key 
staff, including his CBW specialists, on the same subject, including the hospital in North Korea 
and its use. 

This essence of this material was also presented in an article published in Global Affairs 
in the fall of 1987. The article was jointly authored by Gen. Sejna and myself The material was 
next published in the book Red Cocaine, which was a detailed accounting of the Soviet 
international narcotics trafficking intelligence operation, in January, 1990, and that book in 
manuscript form had been earlier submitted to the CIA for security review and approval, which 
was granted in September, 1989. Following that approval, the material was briefed to a wide 
variety of people in the Washington, D.C. area. 

From my perspective, the potential significance of the material to the fight being waged 
by the families of POW/MIAs to learn what happened to their loved ones emerged with a fury in 
April, 1992, which is when I first told a few Congressional Hill staffers, including one who was 
on the staff of the Senate Select Committee for POW/MIA .A.ffairs, about the information and 
existence of a living, knowledgeable source with first-hand knowledge of what happened to 
thousands of American POWVMIAs. To bring the information to the attention of the Select 
Committee's Chairman and Vice Chairman, on July 20 1 delivered a six-page memo to the 
offices of Senators Kerry and Smith. This memo described Gen. Sejna and explained the origins 
of the experimental program and its operational use in Korea and Vietnam. It also urged caution 
to avoid jeopardizing the information. 

As it turned out, the Select Committee was no more interested in the information and 
safeguarding its use than the DIA. Almost the instant Sejna's knowledge began to surface within 
the Select Committee, a wide variety of CIA and DIA actions seemed to materialize, all designed 
to discredit Sejna, sabotage the leads for additional information, and kill proposed efforts to 
conduct a thorough debriefing and analysis of Gen. Sejna's information. This is when I first 
learned that DIA had asked CIA to contact the Czech Intelligence Service, which was the worst 


possible thing one could do. It was guaranteed to cause alarm bells to sound throughout the 
former communist intelligence services and at that time it was well known that the KGB had 
been finding sources and silencing them. So much for the DIA's classifying their memo and 
report to "protect the source's identity." 

At no time since I first began surfacing Sejna's knowledge about what happened to 
American POWs have I observed any DIA or DIA/POW-MIA or CIA interest in learning what 
Sejna knows. This is still true today. The only serious interest was in trying to discredit him and 
bury his information without even knowing what was in the information. 

Next, DIA/POW-MIA joined forces with the CIA to go through Gen. Sejna's original 
1968 debriefings to learn what Sejna might have said in 1968. This material was subsequently 
falsified to cover CIA malfeasance, discredit Sejna, and discourage further inquiry, about which 
more will be said shortly. 

Their third action was to place Sejna under hostile grilling for about 8 hours, call him a 
liar and intimidate him in what was obviously a witch hunt. Then they put him on the polygraph, 
four times in one day according to a memo written by one of the Select Committee staff, all of 
which he passed. They could find no indications of any deception. From then on, rather than 
debrief him to learn more, they avoided him like the plague — they would not even speak to him 
or say "good morning" when they passed him in the halls. 

When I first identified the sabotage taking place in April, I wrote a letter to Bob Gates, 
who was then Director, CIA. After referencing a long conversation we had several years earlier, 
which included a discussion of the "reluctance" of certain elements within CIA to pursue 
investigations of certain strategic intelligence operations directed against the United States, I told 
him of my concern about the POW/MIA area, the accuracy and excellence of Gen. Sejna's 
information, his having passed a hostile polygraph, and the continued reluctance within CIA and 
DIA to debrief him. I then proposed an external project to debrief him as the only solution. On 
May 27 I received back a hand-written note, which said, among other things, "I have sent the 
package to others with a suggestion to pursue." 

After waiting three months and hearing nothing, I dropped another letter to Bob to let him 
know that no one had follow-up on his suggestion. Again, I stressed the importance of debriefing 
Sejna. The POW problem was at the top of my very short list of topics. This time I received a 
typed reply that said, "our people believe that the historic developments in the former Soviet 
Union and Eastern Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall have overtaken the need to pursue a 
program such as the one you have proposed. Please forgive me for not being able to go into 
detail; however, I am assured that the information to which General Sejna might have access has 
already been fully exploited." 

Obviously, the fall of the Berlin Wall and disintegration of the Soviet Union had nothing 
to do with the strategic intelligence operafions of interest. All still represented major threats to 
US national security. It was not the KGB or GRU that disintegrated. They were as alive and well 
as ever. In the case of American POWs, the disintegration made debriefing Sejna even more 
important because of the increased possibility the disintegration created to collect additional 
information during the chaos and confusion. Even more obvious, there is no way that Sejna's 
information on any of the areas I was concerned about could have been exploited, let alone fully 


exploited, insofar as he had never been debriefed on any them. Obviously, who ever was doing 
the "assuring" was deliberating lying to Director Gates. 

Because of the tremendous importance of the subjects, especially the POW/MIA 
problem, and because the lies were so evident, I wrote back to Gates. I got right to the point: 
"The question in my mind is. is it proper for me to tell you when you are being sandbagged by 
your own people?" 

Next, I suggested he challenge the CIA to find anyone who had debriefed Sejna on 
Druzhba Narodov, one of the most effective strategic Soviet intelligence operations, still active, 
and the one that had been the main subject of our discussion several years earlier when he had 
welcomed my efforts because he thought Director Casey would be able to use them to knock 
some sense into the heads of the CIA analysts . Then I challenged him to find one person in the 
CIA who would dare claim to know what was in Sejna's memory regarding American 
POW/MIAs. I also mentioned the Select Committee, the efforts to sabotage critical information, 
and the fact that the Berlin Wall had nothing to do with learning what happened to those missing 
Americans. My objective was to state very clearly ybr the record that his letter of September 22 
"did not reflect the true state of affairs." My guess is that he never was given the letter. 

A week or so later 1 obtained a copy of a CIA memo that had been sent to the Select 
Committee earlier in the summer. While heavily censored, it still provides an excellent example 
of the CIA's efforts to assassinate Sejna's character. The subject of the memo is "Jan Sejna." 
Sejna is blandly described as "a military officer attached to the Czechoslovak General Staff and a 
member of the Czech National Assembly. Sejna was a political officer [a carefully calculated 
slur] whose specialty was communist party matters.'" Compare this, if you will, to the 
abbreviated listing of positions Gen. Sejna held as presented above. 

In paragraph 2 the CIA memo states: "He admitted from the beginning... that he had no 
hard information on intelligence matters." This is another artful misrepresentation. What Sejna 
actually said was that he was not involved in tactical matters like running agents (evidently what 
the CIA refers to as "hard intelligence") and did not know the names of agents in the United 
States. Rather, his knowledge of intelligence was generally restricted to the discussion of issues 
at the Defense Council level; that is, his primary knowledge was strategic level information. (In 
the eighteen years I have worked with Sejna and reviewed intelligence reports based on his 
information, the only instance where I observed efforts to debrief him on items of strategic 
importance was in the case of Soviet sponsorship of international terrorism, a debriefing by DIA 
analysts circa 1980 that the CIA mid-level officials tried to kill because they did not want to find 
the Soviets implicated in such a nefarious activity.) 

In paragraph 5 they state that a review of their files shows that at no time did Sejna tell 
them about POWs, the hospital in North Korea, or medical experiments; and in paragraph 7 they 
provide what is purported to be a transcript of Sejna telling them in 1968 in Czech that he never 
heard anything about POWs in North Vietnam. This was one of the items that DIA confi-onted 
Sejna with at their "initial interview" and then called him a liar and accused him of inventing 

Well now, they totally misjudged both Gen. Sejna's memory and the one primary rule he 
has lived by since his defection: stick to the truth, avoid speculation, and never compromise the 
truth. On several occasions he had been asked to "change his story so that it would be better 


accepted." He never did, and incurred the wrath of many. In this case, he told the DIA/POW- 
MIA inquisitors that he never said what they accused him of saying, that he did not speak like 
that, and that he wanted to hear the tapes. First they said the tapes were destroyed. Later they said 
they would be brought around the next day. Neither DIA nor CIA ever produced the tapes. 

I obtained a copy of the purported transcript and took it to two Czech linguists, one an 
official simultaneous translator and one who had a PhD in linguistics, and asked them what they 
could tell me about the response. Both independently told me that it was strange because no one 
talked that way in Czechoslovakia. It was archaic diplomatic Czech, they both explained. 

The only conclusion I could draw is that the CIA deliberately falsified the record and 
botched the job in the process! Why? Did they do it strictly to discredit Sejna, or did they find 
something in the record that bothered them? Congressman Doman asked Sejna to visit with him 
and talk about the POW problem. He asked Sejna if he ever told the CIA about the experimental 
use of American POWs. Sejna replied: Yes, he had. He had told his CIA debriefers about the use 
ofPOWs during his debriefing in 1968 but they were not interested. Later, I called Sejna to make 
certain there was no misunderstanding the question. There was none. He simply told Doman 
precisely what happened. 

The significance of this is doubly devastating because within a year, a North Vietnamese 
Army doctor, Dr Dang Tan, would have defected to the South. He told his American 
interrogators that: 

► American POWs were being treated as commodities. 

► In violation of the laws, POWs were being shipped to other communist countries, 
including China, the USSR, Cuba, and Czechoslovakia for further exploitation. 

► Drugs were being used on the POWs. 

>■ The treatment of American POWs was inhumane. 

There is no indication that anyone really cared about what Dr. Dang Tan had to say, until 
it became politically expedient. This information was deliberately released during a press 
conference on 1 1 May, 1971, arranged by the CIA to put pressure on the North Vietnamese. The 
implications of what Dr. Dang Tan were so clearly explosive that the CIA Station Chief wired 
CIA Director Helms, who in turn sent a high-priority memo to Henry Kissinger, with copies to 
Secretary of State Rogers, Secretary of Defense Laird, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 
Admiral Moorer, and Deputy Assistant Secretary Sullivan, alerting them in advance to what Dr. 
Dang Tan was about to say. Did any of these people or their staffs take any action in the interest 
of American POWs, or were they all too focused on the politics of foreign policy? 

"Anticipatory Discrediting" 

A Memorandum for the Record, dated October 30, 1992, by John F. McCreary who was a 
conscientious DIA analyst and lawyer on leave from DIA to work on the Select Committee staff 
provides additional insight into the reception Gen. Sejna and his information received over the 
summer of 1992. McCreary wrote the memo because he was concerned that leaks from the 
Committee's Staff Director to the DoD and other agencies were "endangering the lives and 
livelihood of two witnesses ... Jan Sejna [and] Le Quang Khai." 

McCreary reports on a meeting of the US-Russia Joint Commission at the State 
Department. "The discussion featured information provided by Sejna. LeGro [another member of 


the Select Committee staff] stated that Ambassador Malcolm Toon called for his [Sejna 'sj 
dismissal. DIA personnel defended Sejna as to his expertise on Central Europe, but not as to his 
information on other areas, particularly POW-related" Obviously, the DIA folks did not like 
what Sejna had to say, nor evidently the fact that, as correctly stated in the just-released DIA 
memo, "the source has provided reliable information to the USG for over 20 years" and had been 
polygraphed after the "investigative effort" with "no deception indicated." 

The Honorable Malcolm Toon later headed an entourage that went to Prague to talk to 
Czech authorities about Sejna's information. One of the members of the group told me a few 
days after they returned that the real purpose of the trip was to discredit Sejna. They were 
dismayed because none of the Czech authorities would say anything bad about Sejna. None of 
them could confirm anything Sejna said because none were in a position to know. However, one 
of the authorities explained their position very clearly: "Anything Sejna says should be taken 
with the greatest respect," he said with quiet deliberation, "Sejna was one of the few people who 
really knew what was happening." 

In his memo, McCreary next referred to a letter from the CIA to the Select Committee 
"that discredits Sejna's information" evidently because his information was not confirmed by the 
Czech government! No mention of the fact that the hospital was confirmed and that the presence 
of the key Czech individual in charge of the operation in North Korea was confirmed, or of other 
sources that have confirmed various portions of Sejna's information, or that neither the CIA nor 
DIA understood the system well enough to even know how to go about confirming the 

McCreary 's conclusion encapsulates the nature of the problem in a most insightful 
manner. He wrote: "As of this writing, we do not know what Sejna knows or will say under oath, 
yet his testimony has already been written off. This anticipatory discrediting of a Select 
Committee potential witness is tantamount to tampering with the evidence." 

Further Indications of DIA/POW-MIA Intentions 

Even the alleged purpose of the just-released DIA report— to provide information for a 
proposed diplomatic demarche to the Czechoslovakian Government — borders on the ludicrous. 
Why would you send a demarche to a government complaining about what a politically 
discredited government of twenty years earlier had done and even then one under Soviet control? 
But, give DIA credit. At least they did not propose sending demarches to Russia, or Vietnam, or 
North Korea, or China! 

There was and still is only one action that ever made sense in this situation: to thoroughly 
debrief Gen. Sejna and proceed covertly to track down every leaf, and turn over every rock, to 
learn what happened to the thousands of servicemen left behind and, God willing, to rescue those 
still alive and held in captivity. The DIA/POW-MIA and their fHends or co-conspirators at CIA 
and State have done just about everything they could to deny those abandoned men who put their 
lives on the line for their country their freedom and to destroy the information that the families of 
those missing have been begging for, some for over forty years. 

But, how about the "DIA investigation" and their "intensive and extensive review of open 
source literature and archived intelligence material"? There is only one way to describe it: a BIG 
FAT LIE. As they state in their report, their investigative and analytical effort culminated with a 
report of investigafion received from the Czechoslovakian Intelligence Service in March 1992" 

38-526 - 97 

and that "Upon completion of the investigative effort the source was polygraphed..." which was 
in Jime or July as I recall. Only three problems. 

First, they never debriefed Sejna. All they did was subject him to hostile questioning for 
roughly eight hours and polygraph him. They had no interest in learning what Sejna knew, which 
would require a several month intense effort. I know because I have worked at debriefing him for 
many hundreds of hours over eighteen years and I know what the process entails and how 
arduous it is. 

Second, they never made any effort to learn how to track down information. As indicated 
earlier, other than a short visit in October by two Select Committee staffers to talk about his 
information and ask what agencies to visit when they were in Czechoslovakia, no one has 
bothered to seek his advice, and the problem is certainly not one of asking which agencies to ask, 
would they please search their files!. 

Third, there is no indication that DIA/POW-MIA ever reviewed the most pertinent 
archival material that might help verify and extend Sejna's information. What they mainly 
looked for was information to discredit him; for example, by going back over his 1968 
debriefing, a massive but useless exercise insofar as trying to learn what happened is concerned. 
Let them produce a list of what they did research and it will quickly become apparent how 
transparent their intentions were. 

The Final Judgement 

Am I making a mountain out of the proverbial mole hill? In the end, there is only one 
basis for judgement, and that is Sejna's knowledge. Why is there no one in a position of authority 
who wants to know what Sejna knows? 

I do not know the fiill extent of that knowledge because my proposal to the OSD/POW- 
MIA office in August, 1992, to conduct a detailed debriefing of Sejna and devise a covert plan 
for finding additional information was spiked, as was my proposal to CIA. However, I did spend 
enough time debriefing Sejna on my own in 1992 and 1993 to reach the conclusion that the 
failure to debrief Sejna should be viewed as much more than mere tampering with the evidence. 
In my judgement it was closer to treason. 

You be the judge. The material that follows is the results of my preliminary debriefing of 
Gen. Sejna. I say "preliminary" to emphasis that this is not "the rest of the story." It is only the 
beginning. This material was published in 1994 and 1995 by Conservative Review. It was a story 
no one wanted to believe, because of the implications and because of the cold water "those in the 
know" poured over it. Now, however, the DIA report confirms the fact that they knew, secretly 
did not challenge, and could find no indications of deception when they polygraphed the source. 

The material is only a sampling of what is available. I deliberately avoided including 
information I judged to be of greatest value in tracking down more information and possible 
survivors so that it could not be sabotaged. I also omitted many details that concerned the inner 
workings of Soviet and Czech intelligence apparams, associated decision-making processes, and 
their interplay. Many collateral aspects of the military medical intelligence experiments were 
omitted because there simply was not room. 

My motivation in publishing this information was the hope of finding someone in a 
position of authority who was interested in seeing the "rest of the story" developed. I did not 


succeed. No inquiries were ever received from anyone in the government. What better indication 
of their interest is there? You be the judge. The pertinent portions of Gen. Sejna's recollections 

Korea: The Operation Begins 

Czechoslovakia's participation in the Soviet medical intelligence operation began early in 
the Korean War, when it was directed by the Soviets to build an experimental hospital in North 
Korea. The plans were drawn up by the Military Project Institute, which was part of the 
Construction Administration of the Czech Ministry of Defense (MoD). This Administration also 
contained a special department that was responsible for secret projects, especially those in 
foreign countries, and that managed the construction of the hospital. 

Ostensibly, the hospital was built to test new medical procedures for treating military 
casualties and for training young military doctors. That was its cover; but not its sole mission. It 
also served as a special, highly-secure medical intelligence facility in which captured American 
and South Korean servicemen were used as guinea pigs in the types of medical experiments 
previously enumerated. The Czechs also built a crematorium in North Korea to dispose of the 
remains of those GIs who did not survive the experiments. 

What happened to the soldiers who did survive the experimental procedures for treating 
military wounds is not known. However, in light of the sensitive nature of the facility, it is 
doubtful that any were ever returned to the regular POW compounds, nor did Sejna recall any 
report or discussion that suggested that any of those Gl patients were ever reuimed to the North 
Koreans. When the existence of this hospital was brought to the attention of CIA and DIA, they 
were both surprised. Neither had heard of it before. This also suggests that no POWs returned 
from it because had they, they would have reported on the hospital in their routine debriefmgs by 
U.S. intelligence. The existence of this hospital has been confirmed by Czech authorities. 

The overall operation in North Korea came under the authority of the Czech General Staff 
deputy director of military intelligence for strategic intelligence. Colonel Rudolf Babka. Babka 
was a hard-line Stalinist who had been brought in to replace a bourgeois general. Col. Babka was 
sent to North Korea under diplomatic cover as an official of the foreign ministry, which was only 
a deception. After the war, he was promoted to head of the General Staff Foreign Administration, 
which had both an overt and covert function. Overtly, the Foreign Administration negotiated 
foreign military assistance with various defense attaches. Covertly, it was a military intelligence 
front used to manage special clandestine overseas operations. 

The experimental Czech hospital in North Korea was designed to handle two hundred 
"patients." In actuality, the hospital was often overcrowded. One year, six himdred patients were 
treated. At times the hospital was so crowded that two patients were required to share one bed. 
The individual who actually ran the hospital was Colonel Professor Dr. Dufek. Dr. Dufek, a 
former Soviet citizen who had emigrated to Czechoslovakia, was a heart specialist in charge of 
research at the Czech Central Military Hospital in Prague. Sejna discussed the operation with 
both Col. Babka and Dr. Dufek, and was present when they briefed the Minister of Defense's 
Kollegium on the hospital and its operation. 

The Kollegium functioned as a preliminary Defense Council within the Ministry of 
Defense. Most issues were first discussed within the Kollegium before they went to the Defense 
Council. The Defense Council was the highest decision making body in intelligence, counter- 


intelligence, defense, and anything of a national security or internal security nature. Its members 
were established by law and comprised the six most powerful strategic leaders in the nation. It 
was higher than the Politburo. Sejna acted as secretary for the Defense Council and head of its 
Secretariat from 1956 to 1964. He was a member of the Minister's KoUegium up until he left in 

Roughly eighteen Czech doctors were involved in the North Korean operation, and over 
twenty Russian doctors. In preparation for their assignment, several of the Czech doctors were 
given special training in atomic radiation and its effects on the human body at the Institute for 
Nuclear Medicine in Moscow. These were the doctors who conducted the radiation experiments 
in North Korea. Each of them was required to sign a statement saying that they volunteered for 
this assignment. For these experiments, radio-isotopes were brought to North Korea from the 
Soviet Union for use in radiating the GIs. 

Experiments Following the Korean War 

In 1954, after the Korean War armistice was in effect, the Soviets decided to terminate 
the operation and turn the hospital over to the North Koreans. This decision was made by the 
Soviet Defense Council and then coordinated with the Czech Defense Council. 

As part of this decision to terminate operations at the hospital in North Korea, the POWs 
who were of no further use — that is, those whose mental or physical impairment had 
significantly diminished their utility as good medical subjects — were killed and their remains 
cremated. Those who were being used in experiments that were not completed or who were still 
of experimental value — roughly one hundred GIS — were shipped to the Soviet Union where 
the experimental work was to continue. For example, one of the experiments to be continued 
would determine the long-term effects of sub-lethal doses of atomic radiation. To the Soviets, 
"long-term" usually meant several decades; fifty years was typical. In the case of sub-lethal 
radiation effects, the Soviet interest included effects of radiation on the soldiers' reproductive 
organs and on their subsequent children and grandchildren. 

The POWs that were shipped to the Soviet Union through Czechoslovakia were 
transported by air in four roughly-equivalent plane loads. They first stopped in Prague, where the 
GIS were given medical exams before being sent on to various experimental medical test 
facilities in the Soviet Union. The stopover typically lasted about a week. Its purpose was 
security — to "break the trail," so that the Soviets could subsequently deny any claims that 
POWs were shipped to the U.S.S.R. from North Korea. That is also why the experimental 
hospital was a "Czech" hospital. These deceptions were all part of a carefully designed plan to 
mask the movement of GIS to the Soviet Union and to mislead people, including most of the 
Czech and Soviet participants, about what was really happening. 

In May 1956, Sejna was appointed Chief of Staff for the Minister of Defense. Shortly 
after he received this appointment. General Major Kalashnik from the Soviet Main Political 
Administration came to Prague to discuss the importance of non-military weapons. Sejna was 
present at the meeting when Kalashnik discussed five important examples of such weapons: 
ideological offensive, which meant good deception and propaganda; good foreign policy 
designed to split the West; isolating the United States; economic and social chaos; and a new 
view about drugs and other chemicals that can affect the minds and behavior of millions of 
people. Kalashnik's visit and lecture served as a precursor for a Soviet request for the Czechs to 


provide medical support for the experiments that were being run in the Soviet Union on the 
American POWs. Kalashnik's mission was to explain the importance of this research and justify 
the need for Czech participation. 

After General Kalashnik returned to Moscow, the formal request for medical assistance in 
the experiments came into the Czech Ministry of Defense from the Soviet Defense Council. The 
Czech decision in response was prepared by Sejna, working with Minister of Defense General 
Lomsky and under the guidance of the ever-present Soviet MoD Advisor, in this case General 
Major Bojkov. The medical aspects of the plan and preliminary staffing recommendations were 
prepared by five specially-cleared officers at the Health Administration of the MoD's Rear 
Services Administration. 

In assembling the overall plan for presentation to the Czech Defense Council, Sejna 
personally reviewed the files and decision documents for the operation in North Korea, including 
the original Soviet Defense Council instructions that initiated the operation and those that 
terminated it. It was in the originating Soviet Defense Council order where the direction to 
conduct the operation so that "no one ever would know" was set forth. Sejna's review of this 
history was included as part of the plan. 

When the Czech plan was completed, it went to Moscow for review and approval. The 
head of the Soviet military Health Administration personally brought the plan back to Prague. 
The only problem he had with the plan was its timetable. He wanted the process of selecting and 
clearing the doctors accelerated. All the doctors had to be specially cleared by both Czech and 
Soviet military counter-intelligence. The Czechs had wanted to avoid drawing any undue 
attention to the process for security reasons and, thus, avoided using any emergency measures to 
speed up the process. The Soviet official came to Prague to help them accelerate the process 
without employing any observable emergency measures. He came personally because in very 
sensitive operations, such as was this one, telephone communications were not allowed. 

After the plan had received the Soviet blessing, it was placed on the Defense Council's 
agenda, which Sejna prepared as working secretary, for discussion and decision. The Council 
reviewed the Soviet request that had initiated the action, the seven projects the Czech military 
doctors and scientists would be working on, the administrative and security measures, and then 
approved the plan and the money for the project. 

Once the plan was approved, the personnel selection process — mainly to select the 
doctors and scientists who would be involved — commenced. The task was one principally of 
the Czech military Health Administration, assisted by the Administrative Organs Department, 
which was the powerful Central Committee department that had authority over the Ministry of 
Defense (MoD) and Ministry of Interior (Mol). Both Soviet and Czech military intelligence and 
military coimter-intelligence were involved. Military intelligence had overall authority and 
military counter-intelligence, which was a component of the Interior Ministry, was responsible 
for security. 

When the doctors and scientists had been selected and cleared, the list was submitted to 
the head of the Soviet military Health Administration, who was the individual personally 
responsible for the medical aspects of the plan. Following his approval, the list was sent to the 
Czech Defense Council for the final decision, which by this time was mainly a rubber-stamp 
approval. Roughly fifteen doctors and scientists were approved. The doctors came from the 


Central Military Hospital, the College for Military Doctors, and the Air Force Scientific 
Research Institute at Hradack Kralove where many of the experimental drugs had been 
developed. The scientists were from the Academy of Sciences. 

The operation was top secret. Aside from the Defense Council and the doctors who were 
involved, very few people had access to the operation or knew what it was really about. 
Specifically, the only ones who knew were the Chief of the General Staff, Chief of Rear Services 
(Gen. Lt. Evzen Chlad), and the heads of the Health Administration (Gen. Maj. M. Cemy), 
Central Military Hospital, and Air Force Scientific Research Center. The doctors went as a group 
to the Institute for Nuclear Medicine in Moscow. The doctor in charge was the head of the Air 
Force Science Institute. They were accompanied by a military counter-intelligence officer. Once 
in Moscow, they split into three groups. One stayed in Moscow at the Institute and the other two 
groups went to two different locations. 

The Institute for Nuclear Medicine was the jumping-off point because of the political 
plan (that is, deception) that had been devised as a cover. The cover story maintained that the 
doctors had gone to Moscow as students to study the effects of nuclear war on soldiers. 
Everything was prepared for their courses — instructors, organization materials, schedules, and 
so forth. But it was all a fake, designed to mislead people about the real reason behind the 
doctor's mission, which was to investigate the effects of chemical warfare agents and drugs, 
biological organisms, and nuclear radiation on the captive GIS. 

The results of the experiments performed on the captive GIS were presented during the 
annual review of the intelligence plan for the next year and in special, highly-classified reports. 
These reports discussed the improvements in chemical and biological warfare capabilities and 
knowledge of radiation casualties that had been achieved in the experiments. Sejna recalls one 
report on the tests that he read in 1959 or 1960. The tests were discussed in three categories: 
chemical warfare, biological warfare (including viruses), and radiation. 

One of the discussions in the chemical warfare section was focused on the side effects of 
some of the drugs. In the drug research programs, for each drug under development, there was a 
parallel program to develop drugs that would reverse the effect (antidotes) and drugs that could 
defend people against the use of such drugs (prophylaxes). One of the more difficult problems in 
this search was caused by side-effects of the experimental drugs. The side-effects were often 
irreversible and, in many cases, seriously debilitating. Where the prisoners were judged to be of 
no future value because of the side-effects, they were killed. Only a few were retained to see if 
ultimately the side-effects would disappear. Sejna suspects those few were placed in mental 
institutions for long-term (that is, twenty to fifty years) observation. 

In the radiation section, casualty exposure levels were discussed along with the results of 
the search for drugs that would, in effect, enable soldiers to continue fighting even after having 
received lethal radiation exposures. With the captive GIS in the Soviet Union, these tests were 
not limited to the use of radioisotopes. The Soviets also used the atomic reactor at the Institute 
for Nuclear Medicine in Moscow to radiate the GIS. 

Still further, the best and most relevant information was obtained by securing GIS at 
spaced intervals along the ground and then subjecting them to the ftiU force and ftiry of actual 
atomic bomb explosions at Soviet atomic test ranges. In addition to their interest in radiation 
exposure, the Soviets also tested the effects of atomic bomb over pressure and thermal radiation 


on the GIS and the psychological effects of all three — over pressure, atomic, and thermal 
radiation — on the GIS. They also tested the effects of various drugs on exposed GIS to learn if 
some of the radiation effects could be temporarily countered, thus extending the useful life of the 
soldiers, and to observe how long the soldiers who were exposed at the higher levels could 

(As early as 1963, specialists within the U.S. Atomic Energy Community knew that the 
Soviet knowledge of the effects of high levels of radiation exposure on humans was greater than 
the U.S. knowledge. The unchallenged assumption was that the Soviets had gained this 
experienced as a consequence of accidents and poor safety standards. While that may have been 
the case, it is now evident that there is another more reasonable explanation; to wit, their use of 
captive GIS in radiation dose experiments. Additionally, on March 20, 1994, 60 Minutes had a 
special segment on the Soviet use of civilian communities in radiation experiments in which the 
communities close to detonations were deliberately exposed to low level direct radiation and 
subsequent fallout to test the effects of nuclear war on civilian communities.) 

Vietnam War: Setting the Stage 

American POWs also were used for medical experiments by the Soviets and Czechs 
during the Vietnam War. The cornerstone for this activity was laid in 1960 when the North 
Vietnamese Chief of the General Staff (CoGS) and roughly ten senior officers visited Prague and 
Moscow in search of military assistance. The North Vietnamese believed that the only way to 
unify the country was through military action. They wanted military assistance to prepare them 
for a major offensive drive to capture South Vietnam. This was when the Soviets first agreed to 
supply the North Vietnamese with weapons. As head of the Defense Council secretariat, Sejna 
was their host and focal point for scheduling meetings and discussions. 

During this visit, there was one particularly sensitive meeting. The only participants were 
the Vietnamese CoGS; his Czech counterpart. General Otakar Rytir; Czech Minister of Defense 
General Lomsky; Soviet Advisor General .A.Ieksandr Kuschev; and then-Colonel Jan Sejna. In 
this meeting. General Kuschev. explained to the Vietnamese general how American POWs had 
been used for medical research during the Korean War and how valuable this use had been. One 
of the items of cooperation the Soviets would like to receive in return for providing military 
technology, Kuschev continued, was more American POWs for medical experimentation. The 
Viemamese CoGS agreed and used the opportunity to press for even more military assistance. 
Kuschev then stressed the need to begin organizing immediately to use the captured American 
servicemen to avoid the types of delays encountered at the beginning of the Korean War. 

The North Vietnamese general suggested that it would be a good idea to keep any 
Americans who were captured and selected to be sent to the Soviet Union separate from other 
POWs. General Kuschev agreed and the decision was made: Soviet, Czech, and Vietnamese 
military counter-intelligence officers would meet and draw up plans for the secure management 
of American POWs who were to be sent to the Soviet Union fi-om the instant of their capture 
until they were deposited in the Soviet Union. Military counter-intelligence had the lead because 
it was responsible for security in the military. In the communist system, military counter- 
intelligence was generally a component of the Ministry of Interior, and as such was located 
outside the military system. In the Soviet Union, it was a component of the KGB. In 


Czechoslovakia, it was in the Ministry of Interior, which also was where civiHan intelligence was 
located. As was typical in the communist system, everyone watched everyone else. 

Work on the plan commenced immediately following the return of the Vietnamese CoGS 
to Hanoi. In Czechoslovakia, CoGS General Rytir was personally responsible for the effort. In 
the Soviet Union, that person was Marshal Matvey V. Zakharov, the Soviet CoGS. In 
Czechoslovakia, the officials under the CoGS who were responsible for specific areas were the 
first deputy to the Minister of Interior (Josef Kudma), he head of military coimter-intelligence 
(Gen. Maj. Josef Stavinoha), the chief of military intelligence (Gen. Maj. Oldrich Burda), and his 
deputy for strategic intelligence (Gen. Maj. Vasil Lalo). Similar officials from North Vietnam 
participated in the project. 

The plan was completed in approximately six months, at which time Czechoslovakia 
received that portion of the plan which pertained to the Czech part of the operation. As set forth 
in the plan, the overall operation was the responsibility of Soviet military intelligence, or GRU. 
The individual in charge was the special deputy to the Chief of the GRU in charge of strategic 
intelligence. Similarly, in Czechoslovakia the plan was organized under the deputy chief of 
military intelligence for strategic intelligence, just as it had been in the Korean War. Security was 
provided by military counter-intelligence, which actually came under civilian intelligence. 

The security plan specified that the decision on which POWs were to be used for medical 
experimentafion would be made as soon as they were captured. This process was initiated by a 
Soviet request in which they would identify the number of specimens desired. They also would 
specify race requirements and rank. In the latter case, the Soviets were interested in older officers 
as well as younger officers because they wanted to test the effects of mind-control drugs on 
people from different age and rank categories. The older officers were generally regarded as the 
more "reactionary" and, as such, especially important subjects to test. Based on Soviet 
"requirements," the North Vietnamese military counter-intelligence would go into action and 
begin collecting appropriate new American POWs as candidates. 

The potential candidates would be isolated from all other prisoners. As will be seen, at 
this point, the POW had received a one-way ficket to oblivion or to death. The next action was a 
joint Soviet-North Vietnamese psychological debriefing of the potendal candidate to determine 
whether the candidate was the type of individual who might make trouble. If the POW was 
considered psychologically dangerous, then he was to be immediately liquidated. He was not to 
be placed in normal POWs compounds because that would risk security of the experimental 
program; better to simply kill him. 

(One of the surprises when 586 American POWs were repatriated in 1973 was the 
absence of any amputees. The question "Why?" has never been answered. The explanation might 
be that such operations were conducted in special military hospitals, the same ones in which 
various medical intelligence experiments and training were conducted. Any POW entering such a 
hospital logically would never have been permitted to leave because the risk that would pose to 
the operation. This also appears to have been the policy in the Korean War hospital from which 
no patients are known to have left alive, except those shipped to the Soviet Union for ftirther 
experimental use.) 

The plan also set forth the security measures for storage and transportation of the 
approved POWs, specified the clearances that were required for all personnel who would be 



working on the project (for example, guards, drivers, pilots, doctors, and so forth), described in 
detail the procedures for medical exams for prisoners in route to the Soviet Union (these were 
performed in Prague), and listed the names and ranks of all military intelligence and counter- 
intelligence officers who were cleared to work on the project. 

One of the initial products of the plan by decision of the Defense Council was the 
establishment of a special MoD-MoI commission. Its purpose was to coordinate the various 
questions that different agencies wanted directed to the POWs and to issue integrated directions 
to military intelligence and counter-intelligence interrogators. The CoGS General Rytir headed 
the commission, which was composed of the first deputy Minister of Interior, the chief of 
military intelligence, chief of military counter-intelligence, and chief of the 2nd Administration 
of the Ministry of Interior, which was the Czech counterpart to the Soviet KGB intelligence. The 
interrogation instructions were split into two different components — one for normal POWs and 
one for those POWs who had been selected for medical experimentation. Other countries, such as 
East Germany, were also involved in interrogations. This coordination was handled by the 

The pilot plan was placed in operation in 1961. The first Soviet request was for 
specimens of any age or race. The Soviets had run out of test specimens and wanted new ones so 
that they could resume their experiments as soon as possible. The first shipment of American 
POWs occurred in August. Gen. Sejna does not recall whether this initial shipment was 
composed of soldiers or civilians, which would not have been, strictly speaking, POWs. 

This shipment created an emergency situation because there was almost no advanced 
notice. The Czechs did not learn about the shipment until the plane carrying the POWs was in the 
air and headed toward Prague. At about 1 :00 in the afternoon, the Soviet Advisor General 
Kuschev brought a cable to Minister Lomsky, who immediately summoned Sejna to his office. 
As soon as Sejna arrived, Lomsky called President Novotny and told him that Sejna was headed 
over with an important cable. Sejna delivered the cable to Novotny and then proceeded to 
organize the quarters for the POWs and the North Vietnamese and Soviets who were 
accompanying the shipment. The POWs arrived at 3 :00 p.m. the following day. 

Included in this shipment were, as Sejna recalls about four or five South Vietnamese, who 
were housed in the villa close to the castle, six or seven Americans, who were housed in the 
military intelligence villa on Sluna street, and one American, about 42 or 43 years old who was 
isolated fi-om the other Americans and housed in the villa at Rusveltova #1 and who Sejna 
personally observed. 

This was a quick in and out operation that lasted only two days. The plane waited at the 
military airbase until the POWs had been examined and then flew them to the Soviet Union. This 
shipment was different from subsequent respects because of the South Vietnamese and the 
relatively large number of older Americans. This was the only time that Sejna recalls when South 
Vietnamese POWs were sent through Czechoslovakia to the Soviet Union. With respect to the 
American POWs, the Soviets were somewhat displeased with the shipment because there were 
too many older men. Their preference at that time was for the younger men. 

(According to the U.S. government, the first American POW was not captured until 
August 1964. This is more word games by U.S. officials, because this official position on the 
first POW deliberately ignores the civilians, CIA agents, and military involved in so-called black 


programs in Southeast Asia who were lost. The U.S. government policy is clearly revealed in the 
book President Kennedy: Profdes in Power by Richard Reeves. Military pilots were being 
recruited for service in Southeast Asia in 1961. They were asked to read and sign a statement 
whereby they acknowledged that they would be wearing civilian clothes and that their 
"government would disclaim any knowledge" of them if they were captured.) 

This first shipment of POWs was accompanied by the Vietnamese deputy chief of the 
General Staff for military intelligence. General Major Quong. (The name could have been 
Kwang, Kuang, or Quang. Sejna did not know the spelling, but believes he would recognize the 
individual's photo. There is good reason to believe this is the individual identified in the highly 
publicized GRU document that was found in 1993.) Quong was accompanied by two staff 
officers and KGB (military counter-intelligence) escorts. This group went along with the POWs 
to make certain the operation was secure, and to quickly resolve any problems that might emerge 
on this maiden voyage. Sejna hosted the entourage. 

The North Vietnamese were housed at a special villa that was maintained for use of 
foreign dignitaries by the Defense Council secretariat that was under Sejna at that time . The 
Soviet escorts stayed with their plane, evidently standing guard over other sensitive cargo that 
was being transported from North Vietnam to the Soviet Union. As soon as the POWs were 
processed, about two days, they were put back on the plane and whisked away to Russia. As 
Sejna recalls, the North Vietnamese stayed for five working days. He attended one meeting with 
Minister Lomsky that was held in Lomsky's office. Lomsky welcomed the North Vietnamese 
and instructed them to work directly with the Czech CoGS and chief of military intelligence to 
correct any problems. General Quong said he was pleased with the arrangements that had been 
made and, especially, with the manner in which the operation had been organized so that 
participation by the normal bureaucracies had been eliminated. 

The discussion then focused on the U.S. pilots and their importance. One of the points 
Minister Lomsky made was that the pilots were different from the ground forces in their ability 
to handle stress. Because of this type of difference, U.S. pilots were priority POWs for their 
research program. As an illustration of the problem the Soviets were about to have with the 
North Vietnamese, General Quong responded that if you do not think the U.S. pilots are nervous, 
just wait until we finish with them. General Lomsky countered with an explanation that what he 
was referring to was the ability to handle natural stress, not un-natural stress. 

The people who were present at the meeting, in addition to Minister Lomsky, Colonel 
Sejna, Soviet MoD advisor General Kuschev, and General Quong, were the Soviet advisor to the 
Czech military intelligence, the head of Czech military intelligence (Gen. Oldrich Burda), and 
the Czech CoGS, Gen. Otakar Rytir. At that time, most of the Czech strategic leadership was on 
vacation at a special resort at Orlik on the Vltava River. A special meeting of the Defense 
Council was held at the resort, at which time Minister Lomsky informed the Council that the 
operation had begun and then described the preparations that had been taken. 

Over the next two years, the operation was run as a low-level test program in which the 
procedures and plans that had been developed were tested and improved. The immediate 
objective was to get all the "bugs" worked out so that full-scale secure operations could be 
commenced quickly when the war expanded. The second shipment, which was even smaller than 
the first, came in the spring of 1962 and the third, Sejna believes, came in November or 
December 1962. The first large shipment of twenty to twenty-five captives occurred in 1963. 


This 1 963 shipment was the first time the PO Ws were housed in the military counter-intelligence 
barracks, as will be subsequently described, rather than in the villas. 

During this trial period it became clear to Sejna that Czechoslovakia was not the only 
Soviet surrogate staging area for the movement of POWs from North Vietnam to the Soviet 
Union. In the spring of 1962, Sejna attended a meeting of the Warsaw Pact military leaders, 
which would later be known as the Military Council of the Warsaw Pact, in Moscow where he 
learned that Vietnam War POWs were shipped from North Vietnam to North Korea, and thence 
directly to the Soviet Union. The Chief of Staff from North Korea was attending the meeting as 
an observer. During the discussion the North Korean general suggested to the Soviets that the 
experiments be performed on the American POWs while they were in North Korea and avoid 
having to fly them from North Korea to the Soviet Union. Soviet General A. I. Antonov, who 
was deputy chief of the Soviet General Staff, declined the invitation, saying that such a practice 
would constitute an uimecessary security risk. If the experiments were run in North Korea, he 
explained, the Chinese were likely to learn about the tests and this was unacceptable to the 
Soviets. This meeting took place shortly before General Antonov's death in June 1962. It 
indicates that the plan for moving American POWs through North Korea likely was worked out 
at the same time that the operation for moving POWs through Czechoslovakia was planned and 
that it started at about the same time as the Czech-Soviet operation began; that is, in 1961. 

Sejna suspects that East Germany may also have been involved in using American POWs 
in chemical agent experiments, although he had no direct knowledge. The reasons for his 
suspicions are clear. He knew the East Germans were involved in interrogations of American 
POWs using experimental drugs. They also were heavily involved in the development of mind- 
control drugs and chemical warfare agents, which he knew because of data sharing agreements 
the Czechs had negotiated with the Germans. East German security was even better than Czech 
security, including that of German military medical facilities. Finally, The German Minister of 
Defense, General Hoffmann had discussed some of their experimental results with Sejna as early 
as 1964, indicating the Germans were involved well before 1964, and, when the Soviets 
presented drug experiment resuhs. East German results were usually included. 

The importance of the drug development programs was also raised by the Soviets at the 
1962 spring meeting of the Warsaw Pact Political Consultative Commission (PCC). Alexei 
Kosygin, the Soviet President, gave a speech in which he emphasized the importance of new 
developments in drug technology and the possibility of testing these developments. He 
emphasized the need to increase funding in these projects and directed every country to take a 
careful look at their scientific capacities to identify additional scientists who could be put on the 
projects. He did not mention at this open meeting the use of POWs as the way in which the 
developments would be tested. 

As their response, the Czechs conducted a thorough examination of their own drug efforts 
in preparation for the five-year plan which was being organized for approval in the fall of 1962. 
The Soviet guidance to them was quite specific. They were directed to expand their efforts. It 
was essential, the Soviets stressed, to be ready to exploit the supplies of American POWs that 
would accompany the growing war in Southeast Asia. There was no knowing how long the war 
would last. Hence, it was doubly important to make maximum use of the opportunity right from 
the start. 


The Czechs examined the number and types of scientists and doctors who were available, 
how much money would be needed to expand their effort, what drugs were in development and 
the extent to which the development process could be accelerated, how long it would take to 
develop new drugs, and what possibilities were available to steal related technology through 
espionage. They then undertook a comprehensive assessment of what would be required to speed 
the process. In discussing the possibilities with Czech President Antonin Novotny, the head of 
the Academy of Sciences complained bitterly. The Czechs could not do much more, he said, 
because the Soviets themselves caused most of the delays. It took forever for the Czech scientists 
to obtain feedback from the Soviets on the effects the drugs had when tested on the POWs. 
Second, and even more serious, the Czech doctors and scientists did not have direct access to the 
POWs. All they received were the Soviet reports on the tests, and they considered those reports 
inadequate. They needed to be able to monitor the tests directly. 

Novotny took these complaints and presented them in a letter to Khrushchev. The letter 
was prepared under Sejna's direction by his secretariat. The letter expressed the need to get 
results back quickly and allowed as how the Czechs would like to be more involved, but were 
constrained because they did not know the details of how the Soviets were using the POWs. We 
recognize, Novotny's letter continued, that Czechoslovakia is too small a country in which to do 
testing on the POWs. because they simply could not hide such work for ever. However, for 
Czechoslovakia to do more, the Czech scientists and doctors would need better access to the 
testing of drugs on POWs. 

The problem was the Soviet KGB penchant for secrecy. They did not want anyone to 
know where the POWs were being held. Following Novotny's letter, the process did improve, 
but the Czech doctors still were not allowed to go to the locations were the POWs were being 
held. Rather, the POWs were brought to the Czech doctors so that they could observe the effects 
of the drugs first hand. Another problem that delayed the program, but which was not raised by 
Novotny in his letter, was the Soviet expropriation of the Czech ideas, and Soviet deception in 
reporting test results, particularly when they did not want the Czechs to know which drugs, or 
combinations, were the most effective — perhaps because the Soviets intended the drugs for use 
against all potential opponents, including their own allies, a practice the Czechs would see 
pursued in the emerging Vietnam War. 

Vietnam War: Transition From Pilot Program to Full Scale Operations 

Preparations for expanding the war effort formally began toward the end of 1 963 when 
the formal Soviet-North Vietnamese agreement for Warsaw Pact assistance was signed. 

This Soviet-North Vietnamese agreement was presented to the Warsaw Pact officials who 
attended a meeting of the Warsaw Pact Political Consultative Committee in late 1963 or early 
1964. Sejna was present at the meeting. The Soviet General Secretary, Nikita Khrushchev, 
personally attended the meeting and gave a talk during which he explained to the Committee 
officials that an agreement had been reached with North Vietnam. A top secret part of the 
agreement specified that all Warsaw Pact countries would negotiate separate bilateral agreements 
with North Viemam. 

Following this meeting, the Soviets individually instructed each of the Warsaw Pact 
countries as to what the nature of their assistance to, and agreement with. North Vietnam would 
be. The Soviet official in charge of coordinating these agreements was Leonid Brezhnev. In the 


case of Czechoslovakia, the formal notification came in the form of a letter from Khrushchev to 
Czechoslovakia's President, Antonin Novotny, as Sejna recalls, with the specific details 
contained in a separate lengthy communication to the Czech Ministry of Defense. In his letter, 
and in parallel discussions. Khrushchev stated that the American soldiers had been most useful in 
the past and that there were many new drugs and chemical and biological warfare agents imder 
development that needed testing. It was in these commimications that the Czechs were directed 
to negotiate arrangements with the North Vietnamese so that the medical experiments using 
American POWs could be continued. 

The negotiations between Hanoi and Prague for Czech military assistance were 
completed in early 1964. The primary Czech official in the negotiations was Vladimir Koucky, 
who was the Czech Central Committee secretary in charge of foreign policy. While the 
negotiations on the surface were conducted by the North Vietnamese and Czech officials, behind 
the scenes the Soviet advisors in Hanoi and Prague directed the Czech negotiators. 

The use of POWs was a special part of the agreement, which was negotiated by the Czech 
CoGS, General Rytir. It included provisions for using American POWs for "medical research" in 
North Vietnam and the field-tested plan for exporting selected POWs to the Soviet Union via 
Czechoslovakia for research and for intelligence cooperation. The intelligence cooperation 
portion of the agreement referred to captured officers who could be persuaded to defect and to 
assist the Soviets in their analyses of U.S. military capabilities, technology, and war plans. 

The agreement specified that the selection of POWs would be a joint Soviet-North 
Vietnamese effort. The North Vietnamese agreed to provide captured South Vietnamese as well 
as American soldiers for medical research in North Vietnam. This was done to enable the Soviet 
studies on ethnic differences and vulnerabilities unique to Asians to be continued. However, the 
agreement stipulated that experiments on South Vietnamese would be performed only in North 
Vietnam; that is, the South Vietnamese POWs would not be exported to the Soviet Union 
through Czechoslovakia. (It became clear to Sejna from various reports that the Soviets did have 
an ample supply of South Vietnamese POWs that they used in experiments, and, thus, probably 
shipped them through another country en route to the Soviet Union.) The Czechs and Soviets 
agreed to provide medical equipment, experimental drugs, biological organisms and viruses, and, 
naturally, doctors and medical support personnel. 

The conditions in North Vietnam were quite different from those in North Korea because 
the North Koreans were surrogates controlled by the Soviets while, in contrast, the North 
Vietnamese were determined to remain in control themselves and not become either Soviet or 
Chinese puppets. When the Czech-Soviet military assistance programs expanded in North 
Vietnam in 1964, numerous disagreements arose. Problems were encountered, largely because 
the Soviets pushed hard to expand their participation and exert controlling influences, while the 
North Vietnamese worked to block Soviet efforts to expand their presence. This was true in the 
POW medical research programs as well as in the more traditional types of military assistance. 
As an example of one problem in the medical research area, the North Vietnamese wanted final 
approval on the specific doctors who would participate, while the Soviets did not want the North 
Vietnamese to have any background data on the doctors that might reveal which ones were from 
military intelligence. As regards traditional military assistance, the Soviets and Czechs wanted to 
deploy "volunteer" officers, such as pilots, to the war effort so that they could gain combat 
experience. Additionally, where the Soviets provided military equipment, such as air defense 



missiles, they wanted to place technicians at those bases. The North Vietnamese strongly 
opposed these efforts. They wanted to limit the Soviet presence because they were secretly 
sharing Soviet technology with the Chinese. Also, they wanted the defeat of the Americans to be 
a clear North Vietnamese victory. 

The principal problem in the medical experiment program, from the Soviet perspective, 
was one of forcing the Vietnamese to accept a scientific approach to the experiments. The 
Vietnamese did not have the medical or scientific understanding needed to run valid and useful 
tests. The Vietnamese were, in the Soviet eyes, simply too crude. They were more interested in 
extracting vengeance than in conducting scientific tests. Furthermore, the Vietnamese were 
inadequately trained in psychology. While they understood the psychology of Asians very well, 
they did not have a good knowledge of the psychology of Westerners. This knowledge was 
crucial to the tests because many of the experiments were designed to test the effect of 
experimental drugs on the American psyche. Moreover, they did not understand the importance 
of stress and its relation to the testing process. That is, understanding the effects of drugs on 
soldiers under extreme stress — designed to simulate the stress levels expected in an all-out 
nuclear war — was one of the Soviet objectives. This was one of the reasons behind the 
psychological and physiological stress experiments; namely, to enable testing the effects of 
experimental drugs on soldiers under extremely stressful conditions. 

Another example was illustrated by a visit General Quong paid to Prague and Moscow in 
late 1964. Quong visited Prague and Moscow several times to deliver reports on the POW 
operations and to conduct planning sessions with the Soviets. On his visit in late 1964, he met 
with Minister Lomsky specifically to complain that the operation discriminated against the North 
Vietnamese. He believed more of the medical research should be done in North Vietnam and that 
the North Vietnamese should have the results of the research conducted in the Soviet Union. He 
also wanted to press for the opportunity to use POWs for strategic intelligence; that is, he wanted 
to hold POWs, turn them, and then return them as spies. The Russians opposed the idea because 
they would be unable to control the North Vietnamese in the operation, and, besides, they already 
had their own plan in operation, which was focused on recruiting American military personnel in 
South Vietnam and in Australia, where Americans often went for rest and recreation. They felt 
those were better places to recruit agents because the POW route was too obvious and too easy 
for the Americans to detect. 

Regarding the Vietnamese interest in the experiments conducted in the Soviet Union, the 
Soviets were very careful not to let the North Vietnamese (or other allies) have access to much of 
their research, especially the research on mind-control drugs, which utilized POWs. The reason 
was simple: the Soviets planned to use the drugs against the North Vietnamese (and other allies) 
to help keep them under control. They also planned to use the confusion-producing drugs on the 
Chinese technicians who were in North Vietnam to steal the Warsaw Pact technology that was on 
loan to the North Vietnamese. 

To resolve the many problems, a second agreement was negotiated in 1965. These were 
difficult negotiations and required the personal participation in Hanoi of several high-level Czech 
officials. Specifically, even Josef Lenart. the Czech Prime Minister, and General Vaclav Prchlik, 
the chief of the Main Political Administration, went to Hanoi to conduct the negotiations, with 
the sensitive intelligence aspects handled by General Prchlik. 



The agreement that Lenart and Prchlic reached with the North Vietnamese dealt with 
many aspects of miHtary assistance. Elaborations on the PO W experiments were, as before, a 
secret part of this agreement negotiated by Prchlic. Under the "medical research" portion of the 
agreement, procedures for selecting the doctors were established. Additionally, the agreement 
stated that the experiments in North Vietnam would be run by the North Vietnamese doctors in 
their hospitals. Czech and Soviet doctors would participate by providing guidance (supervision) 
and all experimental data would be available to them for their use in monitoring the various tests. 

Experiments on POWs in Laos and China 

As soon as experiments on U.S. POWs had commenced in North Vietnam, negotiations 
were held with the Laotians to gain their participation as well. Sejna personally worked with 
General Sin Ka-po, who headed the communist forces, and General Kong-le, who headed the 
"neutralist" forces, on matters respecting Czech operations in Laos. The Czech/Soviet agreement 
for the use of POWs for medical experiments was negotiated with General Sin Ka-po. Laos was 
generally more complicated than North Vietnam because of the government instabilities. Thus, 
most arrangements were run through the Party system than through the government. Again, 
military intelligence was in charge. Two liaison officers from Laos were stationed in Prague to 
handle coordination. Laotian security was very good, Sejna recalls. The Laotian approach to 
security was quite simple. If there was concern that someone was a security risk, that individual 
was killed. 

In Laos, both Soviet and Czech doctors worked directly on the patients. There were two 
"hospital" facilities where experiments were performed in Laos. The Czech doctors described the 
conditions at these facilities as "primitive." This was not bad, reasoned the Soviets, because 
combat was often conducted in primitive conditions and. thus, operating under such conditions 
was good experience. 

Generally, there were three Czech military doctors in Laos, five to seven in North 
Vietnam, and a larger number of Soviet doctors in both locations. The usual tour of duty for the 
Czech doctors was six months. All doctors who worked on this program first had to pass detailed 
special background investigations, involving both Czech and Soviet military counter- 
intelligence, before their participation was approved. 

In addition to their use as medical guinea pigs, American POWs were also used for 
testing the effectiveness of "interrogation" drugs. Interrogations of captive GIs were conducted in 
Laos, North Vietnam, and North Korea. Czech interrogations were run by military counter- 
intelligence, which was then under General Josef Stavinoha. The interrogations, like all other 
activities, were supervised and controlled by Soviet officers. Experimental drugs were used in 
interrogations. The East Germans were similarly involved. The East German Minister of 
Defense, General Heinz Hoffmarm, once remarked to Sejna while the two were off on a fishing 
trip in 1 964 that the new drugs tested on the Americans were "one thousand percent more 
effective than physical means of persuasion." 

In addition to serving as guinea pigs for the Soviet medical intelligence program, the 
American GIs were also used by the Chinese. The Chinese had an experimental program as early 
as the Korean War. The North Koreans provided American POWs to the Chinese as well as to 
the Soviets. The Chinese and Soviets shared data on the various experiments and their results. 
The Soviets criticized the Chinese program as being too extreme. That is, the Chinese were 



strictly focused on the use of weapons of mass destruction. In contrast, the Soviet interest was 
more focused on the development of new drugs and their use to triumph over the enemy without 

Czech military intelligence was also aware of the continuation of the Chinese medical 
research using American POWs during the Vietnam War. Czech military intelligence had 
identified the movement of American POWs in Chinese trucks or buses headed toward the 
Chinese boarder. Additionally, a senior Czech military intelligence officer who was undercover 
in China as a military attache reported on a Chinese request to share information on continued 
medical test programs. The Chinese official complained to the Czech "attache" that even if there 
were developing antagonisms between their two countries, some cooperative activities should 
continue, for example, he suggested, the joint research on American POWs. We are continuing 
this research, he said, and asked, why don't we continue to share results of this research? There is 
no reason to keep your program secret. We know the American POWs are being sent to the 
Soviet Union for research. Information exchange on these research programs would be of use to 
both our countries. 

Movement of American POWs to Russia 

To complement the experiments run in Laos and North Vietnam, each year during the 
Vietnam War scores of selected GIS — those who were the most healthy — were shipped back 
to the Soviet Union for use in more highly classified, sophisticated, and long-term experiments, 
again through Czechoslovakia (and other countries such as North Korea and East Germany) to 
break the trail. Up until his defection in 1968, General Sejna was knowledgeable about the 
shipments and personally supervised portions of the operation. There were generally two or three 
shipments of POWs each year, always by air. While the airplanes were manned by the Soviet 
military, for security and deception purposes the planes always bore the insignia of some country 
other than the U.S.S.R.; for example, Bulgaria, or Rumania, or Hungary. 

The flights used the secure Czech military airbase at Zatek, which was roughly forty 
kilometers from Prague. Special security measures were in effect when POWs were on the base. 
Military counter-intelligence took over base security. All unnecessary persoimel were excluded 
from the base. Transportation to Prague was provided by the Ministry of Defense special 
transportation battalion. Special buses whose windows had been pained over were driven to the 
planes. The POWs were unloaded directly onto the bus(es). Once loaded, the bus(es) left the air 
base by a special entrance manned exclusively by specially cleared military counter-intelligence 

From the airbase, the POWs were driven directly to highly secret military counter- 
intelligence barracks at Pohorelc in Prague. Normally, twenty to twenty-five POWs constituted a 
"shipment"; although, on one occasion, in the fall of 1966, there was a large shipment of about 
sixty POWs. 

As a cover story, the POWs were referred to as students or foreign soldiers who were 
visiting Czechoslovakia for specialized training. The barracks area, which was where foreign 
soldiers often stayed when in Czechoslovakia for training, was considered a very safe place to 
hide the POWs because they could be tightly secured yet their presence could be easily explained 
as just some foreign students temporarily in Czechoslovakia for training. 



Often, a small portion of a shipment, say three or four PO Ws, would be separated from 
the main group and housed at the Defense Council secretariat villas on Rusveltova street and 
Korejska street. The military intelligence villa on Sluna street was also used when needed. Once, 
there was a special shipment of only two or three POWs who were also housed in these villas 
rather than the barracks and during the large shipment of 60 POWs in 1 966, there were six or 
seven "special" POWs. These select POWs were usually ones who had decided to cooperate with 
the Soviets or who were sick and needed to be isolated. The cooperating GIS were selected from 
the POWs who were regarded as "progressive." In all cases, great care was exercised to isolate 
these people, not only from the main group, but from each other as well. In the case of the 1966 
shipment, Sejna recalls the problem they had finding enough villas to house these special POWs 
and keep them separated. 

From his position as first secretary at the MoD, Sejna was present several times when the 
vans unloaded the POWs at the military counter-intelligence barracks and personally visited the 
POWs there and at the various secret villas to ensure that the operation was going according to 
plan. While most of the POWs were American, there were exceptions. Sejna recalls that, prior to 
his departure, two Australians were processed along with the American POWs and sent to the 
Soviet Union. 

As was the case following the Korean War, Czech doctors participated in the medical 
experiments using Vietnam War POWs in the Soviet Union. The most important experiments 
were those dealing with the development of mind-control and behavior-modification drugs, the 
testing of biological warfare organisms, and tests of the effects of nuclear radiation. Mind-control 
drug experiments were designed to examine the effectiveness of a wide variety of drugs that 
would influence human behavior and mental capabilities. The effect of such drugs under 
different stress conditions was also examined, as previously noted. The Soviets also conducted 
tests to determine how the effects varied according to age, race, and intellectual background. In 
the latter case, they wanted to know if the drug effectiveness when given to officers was different 
from what it was when given to soldiers. One of the more important findings that Sejna recalls 
was that the drugs that were used to influence beliefs were found to be more effective when used 
on men with higher educational achievements. That is, it was easier to mold the minds of the 
intellectuals than the minds of the "primitives," to use the Soviet expression. Special substances 
(drugs and well as biological organisms) designed for use as assassination weapons were also 
tested. One of the objects of these tests were to develop substances that would result in the 
appearance of death from natural causes. 

One of the highest priority biological warfare test programs was the testing of unique 
diseases for which there were no known cures and accompanying tests of experimental 
treatments. Efforts were also underway at that time to develop new strains of viruses that acted 
quickly and could disable groups of people within twenty-four hours of exposure. Off-site 
laboratory support for the various Soviet research projects, such as blood and tissue sample 
analysis, was provided by a variety of hospitals, including the Czech Central Military Hospital. 

Experiments involving the physiological and psychological effects of electro-magnetic 
radiation — low frequency to microwaves ~ on the human specimens also were run during the 
Vietnam War era. In the late spring of 1967, the Soviets stressed the importance of this electro- 
magnetic research to the chief of the Science Administration of the Czech Ministry of Defense. 


The subject was so important that, upon his return, he gave a talk on the subject to a high-level 
group of Czech officials, which included the members of the Minister's Kollegium. 

(It is interesting to recall that ten years later, U.S. news media began carrying reports that 
the Soviets had been deliberately bombarding the U.S. embassy in Moscow with low-level 
microwave radiation, and that this had been going on since the 1960s. What they did not report 
was that the U.S. had conducted research into the effect of low-power microwaves in the mid- 
1970s. This research was motivated by the Soviet radiation. The tests that were run on laboratory 
animals, including primates, showed that such radiation could be used to impair short-term 
memory, totally erase task-oriented traimng, and induce a wide variety of physical effects such as 
heart fibrillations and cellular disorders.) 

One of the reports that Sejna recalls reading in late 1 966 was based on the PO W 
experiments. Its subject was "the effects and improvements in special destructive weapons for 
use in preparation for war [that is, during peacetime] and during war." This report covered the 
results achieved roughly between 1959 and 1966. One of the principal topics was the analysis of 
autopsy results. The focus was on the physical destruction of organs such as the heart, brain, 
nervous system, and so forth. The data base included two hundred to two hundred and fifty 
examples. How many cadavers this referred to Sejna could not recall. The effects of both 
chemical and biological agents on the destruction of organs were considered, and 
recommendations for further research were formulated. The principal recommendations were 
directed to the development of drugs and biological organisms that would destroy specific organs 
at a faster rate. 

The most important findings were directed to the nervous system. There, the critical 
concern was to "gently degrade" an individual's ability to function, but not to destroy it. The idea 
was to sabotage an individual's ability, but not so much that the individual was taken out of his 
job, placed in a hospital, and then replaced by a new, fully-capable person. The report also 
discussed the problem of delivery of the chemical warfare drugs. There were two different 
targets: individuals and groups, which roughly meant officers and soldiers. Those whose 
performance they wanted to degrade, but not so much that they were removed from their jobs, 
were the officers. The problem was how to separate the delivery of different agents. It was alright 
if drugs intended for officers were delivered to soldiers, but the reverse was to be avoided. What 
was especially curious in this analysis was the presence of experimental data that had been 
collected in operations nm against U.S. military forces based in Germany and in Okinawa. 

The American POWs were also used by the Soviets for testing new narcotic drugs. As 
indicated earlier, one of the most important Soviet and East European strategic intelligence 
operations was international drug trafficking. Czechoslovakia was one of the lead Soviet 
surrogates in this operation, as described in detail in the book Red Cocaine: The Drugging of 
America (Clarion House, 1990). The development of better drugs was part of the Czech 
chemical warfare program, where by "better" was meant drugs that produced better and longer 
lasting highs, drugs that were cheaper and easier to produce, and drugs that were more rapidly 
addictive. The experimental drugs developed in Czechoslovakia were first tested on prisoners, 
and then covertly field tested on university students, particularly those in West Germany. They 
were also tested on American POWs in the Soviet Union, which Czech intelligence preferred 
because it was operationally much easier than the university student approach. (The use of 
unwitting students in various drug experiments also was described to the U.S. Senate Judiciary 



Committee on March 30, 1976, by former Moscow State University student Luba Markish and 
former Professor David Azbel. Students were used witiiout their knowledge in tests of a wide 
variety of biological and chemical agents without concern over resultant deaths or incapacities. 
The results were simply explained as natural "student's accidents." Azbel identified poison gases 
that acted on the brain and nervous system as the Soviet's priority research interests in those 

As an indication of size, in the late 1960s roughly fifteen Czech doctors and about eight 
scientists from the Czech Academy of Sciences were involved in the POW research projects in 
the Soviet Union. The experiments that involved Czech doctors and scientists were carried out at 
roughly twenty different institutes in the Soviet Union. The medical experiments also involved a 
variety of East European doctors and scientists who, along with the Czechs and their Soviet 
counterparts, were formed into project teams. This was common practice for scientific research 
in priority areas. To better focus their efforts and to improve security, the Soviets built a special 
institute in the Moscow area where the scientists involved in drug, chemical, and biological 
warfare research could be concentrated. There was a special department at the institute for POW 

(Interestingly, 1971 was when the American Psychiatric Association first condemned the 
Soviet misuse of psychiatric facilities with respect to political prisoners. Various drugs were used 
to "treat" the mental diseases characteristic of dissidents. In 1978 the World Psychiatric 
Association (WPA) also condemned Soviets for its continued practices, which it equated to 
torture and the unwarranted use of "chemical lobotomies." Rather than face censure and 
expulsion, and rather than change its ways, the Soviets withdrew from the WPA in 1983.) 

Planning for Security In Anticipation of War Termination 

There was yet another agreement with the North Vietnamese that was of special 
significance and that is particularly important in estimating what likely happened after Sejna left 
Czechoslovakia in 1968. In roughly 1967, the Soviets encouraged the North Vietnamese to open 
a second front; that is, a diplomatic front. At that time, the Soviets knew the war had to end 
sometime. They also recognized the political climate in the United States was growing opposed 
to the war. Accordingly, they concluded the time was ripe to begin planning for the end of the 
war. As part of their planning, the Soviets decided that if a cease fire were negotiated, all 
evidence of the experimental medical programs, and that included the POW subjects themselves, 
had to be either destroyed or removed to the Soviet Union. Most of all, they wanted to make 
certain that any evidence that showed either the Soviet or Czech involvement in medical 
experiments was removed to the Soviet Union; for example, medical records and equipment such 
as that associated with the testing of biological organisms and viruses. 

Again, they encountered strong North Vietnamese resistance. The North Vietnamese 
were not concerned about ending the war. They saw the war as a mechanism for destroying 
American imperialism and, thus, wanted the war to continue. Tough negotiations were required 
to bring the North Vietnamese around to the Soviet view. The argument that won the North 
Vietnamese over was the problem of "stay-behind" agents. The United States could decide to end 
the war by pulling out at any time. When they did, the Soviets argued, there would be a large 
number of stay-behind agents that would be able to migrate to the North, and those agents might 
find out what had been happening. The North Vietnamese agreed and the Soviets and North 


Vietnamese signed an agreement to begin planning for the evacuation of records, equipment, and 
specimens that remained at the end of the war. When the war would end was a North Vietnamese 
decision. Hence, the plan was keyed to the North Vietnamese decision to terminate the war. 
Until then, the experiments and related activities would continue. 

This is when the planning for the eventual termination of the experimental programs in 
North Vietnam began. It involved very few people, but all the critical agencies were represented: 
the Ministry of Defense, General Staff, Military Intelligence Administration, Air Force, Health 
Administration, Central Military Hospital, Administrative Organs Department, and military 
counter-intelligence. The Czechs were involved in these negotiations because the movements of 
material and people to the Soviet Union at the war's end was to be through Czechoslovakia. 

As before, the critical aspect of the planning was security. All measures were employed 
to assure the secrecy of the operation. As originally stated by the Soviet Defense Council when 
the operation began in 1951, «o one was ever to know about this operation. That was the guiding 
philosophy, from beginning to end, and that is why simply asking the Czech or Russian 
intelligence services to, "Please search your files," goes well beyond merely being naive. 

Where Do We Go From Here? 

The conclusion implicit in the above material is simple: There is a great deal of 
information available on what happened to missing American servicemen. That presented above 
appears to be extensive, which may be why it tends to frighten people, yet it is less than half of 
what 1 learned from Gen. Sejna, and my debriefings were only preliminary. The problem is how 
to track down information such as that contained in Sejna's mind and what to do with it and 

At first glance, the heart of the problem would appear to be DIA/POW-MIA. As will be 
seen, however, DIA/POW-MIA is only part of the problem, the lowest ranking part. 

On February 20, 1 986, an interagency Task Force was formed to review operations of 
DIA's POW/MIA division. Their review revealed "serious shortcomings in every important 
area: attitudes, management, procedure, organization, and leadership." Specifically: 

Unhealthy attitudes are evident in the deeply defensive mindset which 
promotes a rigid inflexibility toward criticism and an adversarial approach to 
those with strong dissenting views. There also tends to be a strong moralistic bias 
at work which manifests as a preoccupation with everybody's motives and 
unrealistic expectations with regard to source accuracy. This could also be termed 
the "Mindset to debunk." Additionally, an attitude of resignation toward outside 
events seems prevalent at all levels and contributes to a noticeable lack of 
persistence in problem-solving and initiative generation. Management, by and 
large, is preoccupied with minutia and preservation of the status quo and forward 
thinking is a rarity. 

Five years later, on 12 February, 1991, Col. Millard A. Peck, Chief of DIA's Special 
Office for PO W-MI A resigned. In his letter of resignation, he explained his motivation for 
accepting the posting as head of an organization with a bad reputation: the political challenge 
inherent in the contentious POW/MIA arena, his own concem as a Vietnam War veteran, and 
what he saw as an opportunity to help clear the Government's good name. His plan was to be 



"totally honest and forthcoming on the entire issue and aggressively pursue innovative actions 
and concepts to clear up the live sighting business." 

The buzz saw he quickly encountered shattered his faith in the system. Consider the 
following extracts from Peck"s letter of resignation; 

► I became painfully aware. ..that I was not really in charge of my own office, but 
was merely a figurehead or whipping boy for a larger and totally Machiavellian 
group of players outside of DIA. 

► That National leaders continue to address the prisoner of war aiid missing in 
action issue as the "highest national priority" is a travesty. From my vantage 
point, I observed that the principal government players were interested 
primarily in conducting a "damage limitation exercise", and appeared to 
knowingly and deliberately generate an endless succession of manufactured 
crises and "busy work". 

► The mindset to"debunk" is alive and well. It is held at all levels, and continues 
to pervade the POW-MIA Office, which is not necessarily the fault of DIA. 

► It appears that the entire issue is being manipulated by unscrupulous people in 
the Government, or associated with the Government. Some are using the issue 
for personal or political advantage and others use it as a forum to perform and 
feel important, or worse. The sad fact, however, is that this issue is being 
controlled and a cover-up may be in progress. The entire charade does not 
appear to be an honest effort, and may never have been. 

►• The policy people manipulating the affair have maintained their distance and 
remained hidden in the shadows, while using the Office as a "toxic waste 
dump" to bury the whole "mess" out of sight and mind to a facility with the 
limited access to public scrutiny. 

► I have seen firsthand how ready and willing the policy people are to sacrifice or 
"abandon" anyone who might be perceived as a political liability. It is quick 
and facile, and can be easily covered. 

► I feel strongly that this issue is being manipulated and controlled at a higher 
level, not with the goal of resolving it, but more to obfuscate the question of 
live prisoners, and give the illusion of progress through hyperactivity. 

► From what 1 have wimessed, it appears that any soldier left in Viemam, even 
inadvertently, was, in fact, abandoned years ago. and that the farce that is being 
played is no more than political legerdemain done with "smoke and mirrors", 
to stall the issue until it dies a natural death. 

Without question, between 1986 and 1991, the situation did not improve. If anything, it 
became worse. This is the same system I encountered in 1 992. There is only one reason this 
situation is allowed to persist: The people in charge want it to persist. 

One would like to think the situation today is different. Certainly, there are some 
conscientious people who are trying to learn what happened. But, they are a very small minority. 
Most of the effort is devoted to wheel-spinning, at a cost of roughly $ 1 00 million per year. The 
Joint Russia-US Task Force is exactly the type of travesty Peck spoke about, as are all the efforts 



to dig through the remains of crashed airplanes. As Peck explained, they keep people busy, out of 
harm's way, and through hyperactivity create the illusion of progress. 

Several years ago I had the privilege of addressing a meeting sponsored by one of the 
public POW/MIA organizations. The head of the DIA Task Force Russia, Maj. Gen. Bernard 
Loeffke, was another of the speakers. He explained their joint efforts with Russian counterparts 
to track down information in Russia, efforts that included sharing information with the Russians. 
I was well aware of prior testimony by Al Graham describing the Russian efforts to silence 
witnesses and destroy evidence. As Gen. Loeffke and I were walking off the stage, I said to him, 
"Tell me General, why would anyone with information of value give it to your task force?" His 
answer was short and frank. "I wouldn't." he quietly replied. 

Consider the DIA efforts to declassify POW/MIA information in response to President 
Clinton's order that all material be declassified by Veteran's Day, 1993. Why is the DIA report 
on the use of American guinea pigs just now surfacing in 1996? Why did DIA not release the 
material in a press conference and distribute with it all other related material they say they 
reviewed in their "intensive and extensive" investigation? Even the just-released report is 
incomplete. The report states that "More detailed information... is listed in the enclosure below." 
But, no "enclosure below" was released along with the report and its covering memorandum. 
Does the DIA simply not care, or are they still deliberately making everything as difficult as 
possible for those Americans who do care? 

There still has been no effort by DIA to debrief Sejna on his complete knowledge of what 
happened to American POW/MIAs. Proposals to conduct such a debriefing have been spiked 
within DoD and within CIA. Once the "essential elements" of his knowledge surfaced, and a 
hostile polygraph was unable to identify any deception by Gen. Sejna, the only serious interest 
evidenced by DIA and CIA was to discredit Sejna and to avoid questioning him further. 

Why? What were — are — they afraid they might find? Certainly there remain some errors 
in my presentation of the information derived out of the preliminary debriefing I conducted in 
1992 and 1993. That was unavoidable because of the limited time available to me. But, would 
anyone with half a brain suggest that the over-all story explaining what happened to thousands of 
missing Americans, all first-hand knowledge by a "well placed" senior Czech official who was 
present and in center of the Czech portion of the operation, is a fabrication, the product of an 
overactive imagination? 

Why does the U.S. Government want not to know the "rest of the story"? Aren't they 
even a slight bit curious? Are they simply too fiightened about the possible implications? Are 
they merely striving to avoid possible retaliation by the "National leaders" and "policy people" 
who operate from positions "hidden in the shadows" that Peck wrote about? Are the problems 
surfaced by Aldrich Ames much larger and more profound than any of those in positions of 
responsibility want to acknowledge? 

How can so many influential opinion makers exhibit so much concern about the war 
crimes in Bosnia while turning a blind eye to Gen. Sejna's description of what happened to 
American POWs and others missing in action in Korea, North Vietnam, and Laos. 

How can so many former high-level U.S. officials, both military and civilian, sleep at 
night knowing they abandoned American servicemen to a fate worse than death — or is that why 
they just don't want to know what Sejna knows? 



Mr. DORNAN. Thank you, Mr. Douglass. 

I would be registering more shock, but I'm not hearing this for 
the first time because of our meeting in my office some weeks ago, 
and some limited dealings with you over the evil empire's interest 
in drug running. 

It's amazing that some aspects of the media keep flogging a dead 
horse on American intelligence agencies purportedly being involved 
at the highest level, up front, with drug running, which is an ab- 
surd story. But the/ve never shown any interest in the Communist 
world using drugs to their end. And yet we have a country in this 
hemisphere, down in Colombia, where a thousand or more police of- 
ficers have been killed in the line of duty in the last year, in the 
world's first terrorist-narco operation. The insurrectionists down 
there fund their whole operation through narcotics. This has only 
happened in the last decade. 

Thank you for your statement. 

Well, General, one prelude comment before you start with your 
statement. When I was having dinner with Colonel Corso, in an 
aside to me, discussing your treatment at the Senate, he recalled — 
and I believe you're 82 years of age? 

Colonel Corso. Eighty-one. 

Mr. DoRNAN. And as my dad used to say, as sharp as a steel bay- 
onet. He said that if he had been treated the way you were treated 
before the Senate Committee, he would have gotten up and walked 
out. I can assure you that you're not going to be treated that way 
here today. There is just too much at stake, and no one has had 
the guts to come forward and try and question your testimony over 
the years directly. It's always been sub rosa, beneath the scenes, 
and it has been beyond discrediting. It's been real character assas- 

Having said that, please proceed. General. 



General Sejna. Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to 
be here. 

I am 28 years in the United States. A few times I'm supposed 
to go to testimony to the Congress. Every time I didn't understand 
it because I thought the Congress was on top of everything. But I 
realized there were some other forces which had major influence to 
stop any testimony. 

Mr. DoRNAN. General, if you would hold your testimony for a sec- 
ond, is there anybody here from the Defense Missing in Action/ 
POW office? Please identify yourselves. The man in the back, that's 
one, two, three, four, five. 

I see a pencil in two hands. Please take careful notes here. 
You're going to have to live with this, gentlemen. I was hoping, 
since there are 89 people on the pa3n*oll over there, and 11 empty 
slots, I was hoping 50 would be here today. But I'll settle for five. 

Proceed, General. 

General Sejna. But finally, thanks to you, after 28 years, nobody 
stopped it and I make it to the U.S. Congress. 

Ladies and gentlemen, when I defected, I did a mistake. Today 
we call it an honest mistake. I came to the United States and I 


thought I would explain these kinds of things, that policy is the 
major strategy of deception. I didn't agree with the policy. Don't 
make aggression mad; don't provoke them because it will be disas- 
ter. Be friendly with them. And it was a major mistake. 

I never had a chance to explain completely the strategy of the So- 
viet Union, and I think, until Mr. Reagan through the White House 
called the Soviets by their real name, evil, and forced them to take 
down the Berlin Wall, things, to me, didn't look very good. 

Ladies and gentlemen, the Berlin Wall, and the electric fences 
around Czechoslovakia and other countries, really covered an evil 
operation against all people and against the free, democratic coun- 

In Soviet planning, two wars dominate the planning. First, there 
was the general nuclear war, which was the responsibility of the 
military. Even all civilian construction was under the control of the 
military. Second, there was a political and intelligence war, the 
revolutionary war, as it was originally called. 

This war was planned in many details, infiltration of the govern- 
ment, the press, sabotage, subversion, deception, narcotic traffic, 
organized crime, the training of terrorists, terrorism generally, and 
compromise political and business leaders. 

The major targets were industries, allies and democratic coun- 
tries, and, of course, as I heard personally from Khrushchev, the 
major targets were the United States because, as he said, the Unit- 
ed States was the major rock in the way to communism in the 
whole world, and as he said, if we move the rock away, the door 
for communism will be opened everjrwhere. 

I like to point out these things because, as I said when I went 
to the United States, I didn't understand really the policy. In the 
beginning when I heard it and saw people, even from the Congress 
and politicians on TV, I thought all of them are KGB agents. I was 
wrong. I think some of them didn't understand what's going on be- 
tween the Soviet Union and the United States. I think the part of 
the deception strategy was also how to use POW's from Korea and 
Vietnam and Laos. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I don't say any fantasy. I was there. I 
participated in that. I was in charge of some operations, and what 
I'm saying is the truth. Even if the people who tried to find out the 
truth about POW's have very, very strong enemies, stronger maybe 
than we are, I think one day the truth will come out and I hope 
that these people will at least apologize. 

Some people who call me liar, and even ask the Defense Depart- 
ment to fire me, and thanks to the Defense Department, they said 
no, against these people I will file suit, ones I will present my 
friends with more facts about the POW's. 

Ladies and gentlemen, except what my friend, Joe Douglass, said 
about me, I just want to add that I was a colonel when I was 27. 
I was already in the Parliament and our Central Committee. I was 
general when I was 40, and I want to tell you one very important 

In 1968, February 25, I kissed the last time Brezhnev and 3 days 
later I was in United States. I think he never forgot that kiss. 

When the war was over in Korea, there were still a hundred 
American prisoners in Korea, and as probably you know already 


from the press, and Czechoslovakia very well, because Czecho- 
slovakia built a military hospital in Korea, in the beginning of the 
war. They called it a "gift to the Korean people". 

The major purpose for the hospital was to train Czech doctors, 
and Russians, for the war. But generally, it just covered deception. 
The top secret purpose of the hospital was to experiment on Ameri- 
cans and South Koreans. The POWs were used to test the effects 
of chemical and biological warfare agents and to test the effect of 
atomic radiation. 

The Soviets also used the American prisoners to test the psycho- 
logical and physiological endurance of American soldiers. They 
were also used to test various mind-control drugs. Czechoslovakia 
also built close to the hospital a crematorium. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I was shocked when I learned 2 years ago 
that some agency of the United States Government asked Czecho- 
slovakia if it is true what I said about the hospital. The Czechs 
said yes, we built the hospital, but we didn't test American pris- 
oners. Forty years after the war in Korea, we find out the hospital 
was there. 

Mr. DORNAN. How? How did we find out it was there? 

General Sejna. They asked Czech intelligence if it is true what 
I said, and Czech intelligence said yes, the hospital was built there. 

The Americans and South Koreans were very important to the 
Soviet plans because, as I told you, the United States was their 
worst enemy to the Communists, and that is why they want to be 
sure they understand the mental and physical condition of Amer- 
ican soldiers. 

The Soviets were deadly serious in their preparation for nuclear 
war and in their development of various drugs and chemicals that 
were to be used in the revolutionary war, and this included de- 
tailed tests on the people from the United States. 

At the end of the Korean war, it was made a decision of the So- 
viet Defense Council to do everything possible to cover any oper- 
ation in Korea which was prepared by Soviets and other satellites, 
and especially to cover the tests which were performed on Amer- 
ican soldiers. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I learned about these things not just from 
the documents, like the Secretary of Defense Council, but also from 
the doctors and my friends who were in Korea. They participated 
in the tests. 

The Czech scientific institution, military, they participated in the 
analysis. They got analyses from the Soviet Union because the 
tests continued when they took American prisoners to the Soviet 
Union and, Eifter then, what was the Vietnam war. I was personally 
present when American prisoners of war were shipped through 
Czechoslovakia to the Soviet Union, where they were tested in the 
military hospitals for any other diseases because the Soviets didn't 
trust too much Koreans. 

Between 1961 and 1968, when I left Czechoslovakia, I estimate 
at least 200 American POW's were shipped to the Soviet Union 
through Czechoslovakia. I don't have any evidence of the participa- 
tion of East Germany or other countries, but there's no question 
that East Germany participates very much because they have expe- 


rience from World War II, when the Nazis tested many drugs on 
human beings. 

Finally, I want to say that I will do everything I can to help peo- 
ple to try to find out the truth about POW's. It doesn't matter if 
somebody wants to make me homeless or whatever, because I think 
it is just one country, the United States, which worries so much 
about each individual, each American citizen who was lost any- 
where. I am shocked because it has taken so long to really do some- 
thing and to find out the truth about American prisoners in Korea. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, again for the opportunity to be here. 

[The prepared statement of Mr, Sejna follows:] 


Statement of Jan Sejna 

Before the Subcommittee on Military Personnel 

of the House National Security Committee 

September 17, 1996 

Chairman Dornan, ladies and gentlemen, it is a privilege to be here this 

It is heartwarming for me after so many years to find people who are sincerely 
interested in events that actually happened in various communist countries that 

were under the rule of the Soviet Union. 

i[. ':~ . '■-,■, 

In 1 968 I was forced to choose between following instructions I received from 
Moscow and doing what I believed to be best for my country, Czechoslovakia. 
At the lime, I was first secretary of the Parly at the Ministry of Defense and 
chief of staff to the Minister of Defense, in addition to numerous other 
positions. The Soviet Union was preparing to invade Czechoslovakia, and 1 
choose to alert the Czech leadership and refused to follow the Soviet plan as 

A week later, 1 learned that my immunity from arrest as a member of the 
Parliament had been lifted and I was about to be arrested. I believe my arrest 
had been directed personally by Soviet General Yepishev. After thirteen years 
in high-level positions, I knew precisely what that meant, and along with my 
son and his girl friend, who later became his wife, I fled through Yugoslavia to 
Trieste, where I went to the U.S. consulate and requested political asylum. In 
two days I was in the United States. 


To understand the events of interest today, it is essentia! to understand that back 
then the main mission of all organizations in the Soviet empire was to destroy 
democracy and bring people everywhere under the yoke of communism. 

Two wars dominated our planning. 

First, there was general nuclear war, which was the responsibility of the 
military. Even civilian construction projects had to be approved by the Defense 
Council to make certain they all contributed to the war effort. 

Second, there was the political and intelligence wars, the world revolutionary 
war, as it was originally called. This war was also waged according to a very 
detailed and complex strategic plan. This war involved infiltration of the 
government and press, sabotage, subversion, deception, narcotics trafficking, 
organized crime, terrorism, compromise of political and business leaders, and 
many other activities, all designed to destroy competing social systems. The 
primary targets were all industrialized countries and the most important enemy 
was the United States. 

I want to point out that in these and other activities, the Soviets ruled their 
empire with an iron hand. All directions and controls came from Moscow. 
People undertook independent actions at their own risk, and the penalties were 
without any regard for human rights or dignity. 

I know, because I was there. In the 1950s and early 1960s I was in charge of 
the Defense Council secretariat. From 1964 on I was first secretary at the 
Ministry of Defense. In my various official capacities I was constantly meeting 
with Soviet officials, receiving instructions, and relaying those instructions to 
various Czech agencies and departments. 


It was in the process of responding to Soviet directions in about 1 956 that I first 
became aware of the use of American and South Korean POWs by Soviet and 
Czech doctors. 

I certainly would not pretend to know what happened to all the missing POWs, 
but I do know what happened to many of them. In brief, hundreds were used in 
Korea and in Vietnam as human guinea pigs. 

At the beginning of the Korean War, we received directions from Moscow to 
build a military hospital in North Korea. The advertised purpose of the hospital 
was to treat military casualties. But this was only a cover, a deception. The Top 
Secret purpose of the hospital was to experiment on American and South 
Korean POWs. 

The POWs were used as bodies for training military doctors in field medicine ~ 
for example treating serious wounds and conducting amputations. 

The POWs were used to test the effects of chemical and biological warfare 
agents and to test the effects of atomic radiation. 

The Soviets also used the American GIs to test the physiological and 
psychological endurance of American soldiers. They were also used to lest 
various mind control drugs. 

Czechoslovakia also built a crematorium in North Korea to disposed of the 
bodies and parts after the experiments were concluded. 

The Americans and South Koreans were not the only humans used as guinea 
pigs. Thousands of prisoners within the Soviet Union, and Czechoslovakia too, 
were also used. 


The Americans and South Koreans were very important to the Soviet plans 
because they believed it was essential to understand the manner in which 
different drugs, and chemical and biological warfare agents, and radiation 
affected different races and people who had been brought up differently; for 
example on better diets. 

The Soviets also wanted to know whether there were differences in the abilities 
of soldiers from different countries to stand up to the stress of nuclear war and 
keep on fighting. 

The Soviets were deadly serious in their preparation for nuclear war and in 
their development of various drugs and chemicals that were to be used in the 
revolutionary war, and this included detailed tests on the people from the 
various countries that were their enemies. Because America was the main 
enemy, American POWs were the most highly valued experimental subjects. 

At the end of the Korean War, there were about 100 POWs who were still 
considered useful for further experiments. I believe all others had been killed in 
the process of the experiments because I do not recall ever reading any report 
that indicated that any of the POW patients at the hospital left the hospital alive 
-- except the 100 that were still alive at the end of the war. These 100 were 
flown in four groups first to Czechoslovakia, where they were given physical 
exams, and then onto the Soviet Union. 

I learned about all this from the Czech doctors who ran the hospital, from the 
Czech military intelligence officer in charge of the Czech operations in Korea, 
from Soviet advisors, and from official documentation that I reviewed in the 
process of responding to a Soviet request for Czechoslovakia to send medical 
doctors to the Soviet Union to participate in various experiments being run on 
the POWs who had been transferred to the Soviet Union. I also reviewed 
reports on the results of autopsies of the POWs, and received briefings on 
various aspects of the experiments. 



While what I have just said describes what happened in Korea. I want to point 
out that the same things happened in Vietnam and Laos during the Vietnom 
War. The only difference is the operation in Vietnam was better planned and 
more Americans POWs were used, both in Vietnam and Laos and in the Soviet 

On several occasions my office was responsible for organizing the shipments of 
POWs and their housing in Prague before tlicy were shipped to the Soviet 
Union. I personally was present when American POWs were unloaded from 
planes, put on buses whose windows had been painted black, and then driven to 
Prague where they were placed in various military intelligence barracks and 
other secure buildings until they were shipped to the Soviet Union. 

Between 1961 and 1968 when 1 left Czechoslovakia, I would estimate at least 
200 American POWs were shipped to the Soviet Union through 

I believe there were others who were shipped to the Soviet Union through 
North Korea and East Germany, although I have no first hand knowledge of 
those transfers. I know that many were given to the Chinese for experiments 
during the Korean War, and Czech intelligence reported that the North 
Vietnomcsc also provided American POWs to the Chinese. 

In closing I want to emphasize that this operation was conducted at the highest 
level of secrecy. Information on this operation was labeled State Secret, which 
was higher than Top Secret, and no one who did not have a real need to know 
was aware of the operation. When I was there, my estimate is that fewer than 
l.S pexiple in all of Czechoslovakia were aware of the transfer of American 
POWs to the Soviet Union. I will never forget the written directions on the 
original Soviet order that started the operation in 1951. It said thai the operation 
was to be conducted in such a way that "no one would ever know about it. " 


I am only sorry that it has taken so long to find some people here in American 
who are interested in the Soviet operation designed to use American POWs. 

Thank you for the opportunity to tell you those things that I know happened. I 
would be happy to answer any questions you may have. 


Mr. DORNAN. Thank you, General. 

A couple of facts and one question, and then I will hold my ques- 
tions until my colleagues have asked questions of the panel. 

When I first met with you in my office, you told me that when 
you first got here, and this country was being torn apart the month 
you arrived, we all had our memories jogged with the film at the 
Democratic Convention in Chicago a few weeks ago. Both of our po- 
litical parties basically put on a 4-day infomat commercial, so the 
media needed something to talk about at the Republican Conven- 
tion, and it was tr3dng to stoke the fires of the abortion argument, 
and at the Democratic Convention it was glorifying a traitor — in 
my opinion, a traitor — State Senator Tom Haydon, and following 
him around and showing this old film and calling it a police riot. 

But when you were first here, the rioting was going on at the 
Democratic Convention, Hanoi's SIOPS operations were being co- 
ordinated at that point out of Cuba, and Czechoslovakia was in- 
vaded with tanks right while the Democratic Convention was going 
on in 1968. You told me that when you told your interviewers — and 
now I know why you think they were KGB agents and couldn't be- 
lieve their stupidity — never underestimate dumb — they asked you 
about the rifles in an average Czech Army platoon. They got you 
to a minutiae. And every time you told them about live American 
prisoners coming from Vietnam through Czechoslovakia — we call 
that laundering when money is involved, and to break the trail is 
the way you put it — and then sent to the Soviet Union to disappear 
forever, that they told you they weren't interested. 

I want you to tell me a little bit about that. And then when you 
told them, as the chief of staff secretariat of their equivalent of the 
Joint Chiefs of Staff, about warfighting plans for a possible world 
war III, through a preemptive strike by Soviet tank forces, they 
also told you, "well, we're not interested in that. Tell us about the 
rifle that the average soldier carries in a Czech infantry platoon." 

Do you think they were questioning you along those lines to test 
your veracity, and if that was so, why did they never return to the 
larger themes of world war III or live Americans getting the Dr. 
Mengele-Auschwitz treatment or the Japanese loathsome, hellish 
unit 731 at Harbin, Manchuria, treatment. Tell me something 
about those initial visits. And I tell Americans listening through 
television, or family visitors in the room that will carry the word 
back to the other families, what they did when they thought they 
had sucked all the intelligence value our of you — which was 
shockingly minimal, given your position and your status. They gave 
you $50,000 and maybe that was real money in 1968, and sent you 
up to Lake George, NY, to run a golf course or something, and you 
warned them that you were a military man, you didn't necessarily 
have business skills, and that you would lose all that money forth- 
with, and you did. 

I just wanted people in the audience to know, instead of putting 
you on the payroll immediately, they sent you off with $50 G's to 
Lake George, NY, a beautiful area of my colleague, Gerry Soloman. 

I might add that if you were a homosexual traitor, like Kim 
Philby, Andrew Blunt, Burgess, or McLean, you would have gotten 
a colonelcy in the CIA or the equivalent would be senior executive 
staff, a free apartment inside the beltway, and taken care of for 

38-526 - 97 - 3 


life, I just want people to understand, who don't read these intel- 
ligence stories as I do, the difference between our two systems. 

But just tell me the highest level of person who was your contact 
man in the CIA, your interviewers, and why they resisted these 
overwhelmingly serious themes only to question you about minu- 

General Sejna. Mr. Chairman, I have to say, if I'm talking about 
people who interrogate me, who work with me, there were some 
people who I would say were the smartest people who we have in 
the United States, people from the CIA and other agencies, and 
then there were some idiots, I'm sorry to say, because — For exam- 
ple, it's not just about the rifles. Can you imagine, in my position, 
I will remember how many rifles are in a company or platoon? 

They asked me to paint on the paper — how do you say it? 

Mr. Douglass. The insignias? 

Mr. DORNAN. The rank, which is available on charts at any intel- 
ligence office in the Pentagon. 

Greneral Sejna. I said you can go to a Prague bookstore and buy 
it. I think they probably test me if it is true I am general, if I know 
how it looks or not. Maybe. 

Mr. DORNAN. How long had it been since you had fired a rifle? 

General Sejna. Pardon me? 

Mr. DORNAN. How long since you had fired a rifle. When you had 
defected, how long since you, as an officer, had fired a pistol on a 

General Sejna. Before I defected, probably 20 years. 

Mr. Dornan. Just one other example of some of the trivia they 
asked you about. 

General Sejna. Yeah. 

Mr. Dornan. Give me one other example of some of the trivia. 
Epaulets, rank, the structure of a platoon, how many rifles in a 
Czech infantry company. 

General Sejna. You know, Mr. Chairman, I must say the prob- 
lem was I don't want to make myself important because any defec- 
tor tries to be more important than others, you know. 

Mr. Dornan. I understand. 

General Sejna. But I think they were probably shocked because 
they had never had such a high defector, and probably because 
sometimes even the warrant officers worked with me and asked 
questions. They were so nice. They told me, look, we have this 
question, for example, about chemical weapons. OK, I can discuss 
the general decision on how to use chemical weapons in the war 
and so on, but they asked me the technology, how to make the 
chemical weapons and all this, and I was not a professor or chemist 
or whatever. 

They said, look, we have to say something because, when we 
come back, if we say you know too much, they say how is it pos- 
sible he knows too much? If he says he doesn't know, they give us 
hell and they say he was general and he doesn't know? This guy 
tries to compromise somehow and work with me together to say 

I must say, Mr. Chairman, many times I was really shocked be- 
cause these people didn't understand the communist system. They 
told me, look, you was general; how do you know about the political 


system? They don't know that in Czechoslovakia or Russia, the 
general officers are in Central Committee. They are in the Par- 
liament, as I was. If you are not politically involved, you were 
never a general. It's that simple. 

So I think it was absolutely a misunderstanding, and I must say 
I am sorry for such stupid questions. It was just a waste of time. 

Mr. DORNAN. It comes to mind in a Georgetown restaurant how 
a Polish defector, Yurchenko, just got up out of the restaurant and 
said "Goodbye. I'm going over to the Polish Embassy. I'm out of 
here, "Goodbye." Victor Blenko, who brought a MiG-25 to Japan, 
was allowed to flounder around. He got one look at the hardcore 
pornography and prostitution at the so-called tenderloin area of 
San Francisco and he drove all the way back across the country to 
turn himself in, probably to execution, but fortunately called his 
CIA handler at the last minute and was dissuaded from it. And he 
still is a valuable intelligence asset and not used by our Govern- 

I have to ask a question of Colonel Corso. It just jumps into my 
mind. Did the Eisenhower administration know an3d:hing about the 
fate of our missing men, the ones that went to the Soviet Union? 
Did you ever have a clue, until you heard General Sejna, about 
these medical experiments? 

Colonel CORSO. Yes, I did. 

Mr. DORNAN. You did hear that? 

Colonel Corso. Yes. 

Mr. DORNAN. Please tell us about that. 

Colonel CoRSO. I was getting reports that came from enemy ter- 
ritory in Korea, that they had some sort of a hospital up there 
where General Kamil, the Soviet, was heading all the interrogation 
and brainwashing. They had a hospital there where they were ac- 
tually experimenting on our prisoners Nazi style. I put that in my 

Mr. DoRNAN. Nazi style. Go ahead. 

Colonel CORSO. We sent out agents to try to get the information, 
and I never did get much information on the hospital itself. But I 
did keep receiving, over a period of time, reports that this was hap- 
pening. But the main reports that I did receive was how they were 
conducting their brainwashing technique. But there were other 
medical experiments that I was getting information on, and I 
passed that on to CD. Jackson and other administration officials 
when I was at the White House. 

Mr. DORNAN. Please explain who CD. Jackson was. 

Colonel CORSO. CD. Jackson was 

Mr. DORNAN. He's now deceased. 

Colonel CORSO. He was from Time Life magazine, and he was ac- 
tually equivalent to a Cabinet member, a special assistant to the 
President. He was my immediate superior. 

Mr. DoRNAN. You don't get any higher than — I think that's 
George Stephanopoulos' title, Special Assistant to the President. 
That means you have access to the Oval Office just about any time 
you want it. 

Colonel CORSO. CD. Jackson came originally on the Psycho- 
logical Strategy Board, which later became the Operations Coordi- 
nating Board of the National Security Council, that I was on. 


CD. Jackson had access to the President's office almost always. 
In fact, I would say 90 percent of the time that I saw President Ei- 
senhower, CD. Jackson would call me and I would go with him to 
see the President. 

Mr. DORNAN. How often do you think he saw the President, CD. 

Colonel CoRSO. Oh, from what he told me — I used to sit with him 
quite often, since he was my superior — he would see him two or 
three times a week possibly. 

Mr. DORNAN. So this was discussed in the Oval Office? 

Colonel CORSO. Yes. He was close to the President. 

Mr. DoRNAN. One thing comes to mind. I tried to get the records 
for the Japanese demonic medical facility, unit 731 at Harbin. I 
tried to get the records and it was a disgraceful coverup, because 
some of the Japanese who had amputated limbs, trained their med- 
ical doctors to amputate first one limb, then another, and finally 
a torso is lying there with some poor GI's looking up to God, 
"What's become of me?" Then they would operate on their intes- 
tines and kill them. It seems unbelievable, but it happened. And 
some of the doctors who did this have committed suicide. Mean- 
while, they ran medical schools in Japan. 

The records were all up at Fort Meade, our Chemical Warfare 
Center, and I had a hell of a time in getting them in 1977, 1978. 
They're still classified. It even infringed a little bit on the reputa- 
tion of MacArthur, who was trying to turn a bashida warrior code, 
Shogun system, into a democracy, and he achieved wonders doing 
that. But we did not have, in depth, the war crimes trials in Japan. 
People were losing interest because it came after Nuremberg. 

But in the Japanese tests at Harbin, what they would do is say, 
"How would anthrax react on a blond or a redheaded American, 
Brit, or Australian soldier? How would they react on Koreans, and 
is there a difference between Koreans and Chinese." They would 
work different medical experiments on different racial types. I look 
at you, Phil, but I wanted to ask this of General Sejna. 

Did I not read in some of your statements that there seemed to 
be some interest on how American officers responded to drugs, 
higher educated people, mind-control drugs, how enlisted men re- 
acted, and how people of different races reacted. South Vietnamese 
prisoners, through Czechoslovakia and into the Soviet Union. 

General Sejna. Yes. As I said, they had an interest in different 
races. For example, how do drugs react on black and white, let's 
say, Afro-Americans or Asians, because it was the war would pro- 
ceed to Asia and were even talking about global war or in Europe 
or American territory. 

When they shipped these prisoners to the Soviet Union, they sep- 
arated the officers. They separated American officers on how to use 
the drugs which controlled the mind and chemical weapons. So all 
these things were scientifically orchestrated, with different groups 
and different positions, different ranks, and so on. 

I must say, for example, in the testimony from the Soviet Union, 
they came to the conclusion, which I remember right today, when 
they checked those soldiers, 20 percent of the American soldiers al- 
ready passed many heart attacks, as they called it. 


Mr. DORNAN. Had gone through heart attacks, induced heart at- 

General Sejna. Yes. The Koreans, just 1 percent. So they came 
to the conclusion that it is necessary to do something to even make 
the rate higher in case the World War starts, to use chemical 
weapons or drugs or whatever, because the American soldier, be- 
cause I guess the life in the United States is different than in 
Korea, were a very easy target for such diseases — heart diseases 
and so on. 

As an example of how they go into all the details on these things, 
and especially about the officers, they came to the conclusion, as 
more intelligent was the human being, they are better targets for 
the drugs to control his mind. If you were, I am sorry to say, so 
primitive, it was a different approach on how to read you, how to 
control your mind, how to make you not fight and simply give up. 
Different things were approached to the officers and staffs. So it 
was a very, very scientific planning for all this stuff. 

Colonel CORSO. Mr. Chairman, may I add something to that right 

Mr. DORNAN. Phil, just 1 second. I want to ask this question or 
I'll forget it. 

I approached President Reagan in December 1984. I had just 
made a comeback to the House. About 90 people had been defeated 
around this place and tried to come back, and only two of us have 
made it. So, I was in a good frame of mind and thought I would 
pick up my work on this issue again. 

Bobby Garwood was out there still floating around after 4 or 5 
years, the corporal from Vietnam who had carried a gun, and I was 
just reading in the book "POW" again how in one of the horrible 
camps in the northern part of South Vietnam, how he had kept 
prisoners captive and spoke fluent Vietnamese, and then con- 
versely would sneak food to some of the Americans to keep them 
alive while lecturing with them to cooperate with the North. 

But I asked Bobby Garwood if he would take sodium pentothal 
and he said yes. So I asked President Reagan if the Government 
would consider giving Bobby Garwood sodium pentothal. And 
President Reagan turned and said, "Well, Bud, how about that?" 
Bud was Col. Bud McFarland, his National Security Advisor. It 
was never done. 

(General, when you were telling this to your initial briefers, at 
the height of the cold war in 1968 — Khrushchev had been out of 
power for about 3V2 or 4 years — alarm bells should have gone off 
in the intelligence community. The intellectual impact should have 
been deafening, these alarm bells. Somebody should have sug- 
gested to you that you take sodium pentothal. 

A quick story of how this works. One of the top all time test pi- 
lots for Lockheed Aviation was a test pilot named "Fish" Salmon. 
He bailed out of an F-104 Starfighter, which was our first Mach 
2 airplane. He remembered nothing. He bailed out at high speed 
in an inverted spin. 

They gave him sodium pentothal, and I watched this on Lock- 
heed film. They give him sodium pentothal and it recalls and 
brings back his memory in such detail that he begins, in the so- 
dium pentothal state, to relate what was on the instruments that 


he's looking at in this inverted spin right before he ejects. It was 
valuable to the test program for what was then the world's fastest 
fighter, a missile with a man in it. 

Would you be willing — I know you're in your sixties, and I don't 
know if the doctors would say it's dangerous, but you have already 
passed a polygraph test 

General Sejna. Yes. 

Mr. DORNAN. And a 3-star general said "no deception noted." 

Would you be willing to take sodium pentothal, "truth serum" it's 
called in slang? 

General Sejna. Sure. 

Mr. DORNAN. Well, I'm not going to forget the 17th of September, 

Colonel Corso, let me ask you this. Did the U.S. DOD track care- 
fully during this period the results of the brainwashing? Were they 
talking to my friend. Bud Mahuron, who had been held in solitary, 
in a pit in the ground for 18 months, that signed a germ warfare 

Colonel CORSO. Yes. During this period, I wrote the speech for 
Dr. Mayo on brainwashing when they accused us of bacteriological 

Mr. DORNAN. For Doctor who? 

Colonel CORSO. Dr. Charles Mayo at the United Nations. This 
was mostly on brainwashing and the techniques that they used. 

During that period I got my hands on a film at CIA 

Mr. DORNAN. I have those documents, by the way. 

Colonel CORSO [continuing]. Which was titled "Silvery Dust". 
This film was made by the Soviet Union. It showed the exact ex- 
periments that they did on human being to condition the reflexes 
of a human being. 

Also, in Korea, the Department of Defense furnished me 90 re- 
turning ex-prisoners of war before I wrote that speech. These pris- 
oners of war told me that, once a prisoner came under this treat- 
ment, in many cases, they knew — they would watch the prisoner, 
and if they could get to him, because the prisoner would will him- 
self to death, they could almost time the time he was going to die. 
And doctors even told me this, that came back as prisoners. The 
man would just give up. 

When they did this, they tried to get their hands on him, to try 
to make him walk and bring him out of it. If they couldn't get to 
him, the prisoners actually told me that they could call the time 
of death. This was a result of these experiments on mind control, 
or the Pavlovian conditioned reflexes. 

In fact. Congressman, if you see pictures of prisoners, at times 
they have a blindfold. They walk them around from place to place. 
The purpose of the blindfold is not to break the conditioning. So 
they blindfold them when they move them around before they get 
them to get on the radio or something or confess. This was actually 
practiced by the Soviets, and this film, "Silvery Dust," was made 
by them and proved that they were doing it on their own people. 

There was one picture there, one face, that they would have a 
man on his back. He had his mouth open and a tube would be com- 
ing down to his mouth. They would roll a pellet of food down and 


he would open his mouth at the strike of a bell, like they did with 
the dogs, Pavlov's dogs. 

As I say, this speech was given by Dr. Charles Mayo at the Unit- 
ed Nations, which covered the whole conditioned reflex system. It 
was so bad that at times it was just like shooting the prisoner. 

Mr. DORNAN. I will yield to my colleagues here. Just two quick 
questions that may trigger questions for them. 

General Sejna, did you ever talk to any of the doctors? 

General Sejna. In Czechoslovakia? 

Mr. DoRNAN. Yes. 

General Sejna. Oh, yes, surely. 

Mr. DORNAN. And you were never asked by anybody in the U.S. 
intelligence community to identify or look at any pictures of doc- 

General Sejna. No. 

Mr. DORNAN. No. 2, did you ever see any of the reports or records 
of the experiments that were coming back to Prague? 

General Sejna. Sure. Of course, because most of them go to the 
Defense Council and everything goes through my hands. 

Mr. Chairman, I would like to say one more thing. It would also 
be interesting to check what human beings the Soviets use when 
they test nuclear weapons, because I saw some films which they 
showed us. They test their nuclear weapons with the horses and 
human beings and things. I tell you, I would not be surprised if 
these people were Amierican POW's. I would not be surprised. 

Mr. Dornan. Where they killed 10,000 of their own citizens with 
anthrax tests, first printed in Readers Digest, and some people in 
our intelligence community dismissed it and then, after the Iron 
Curtain came down, it turned out to be true. 

When you talked about people being blindfolded, two thoughts 
came to mind, and then I will defer to my colleagues. I pictured our 
Doolittle Raiders. I found a picture of me and Jimmie Doolittle to- 
gether last night. His raiders were blindfolded, wherever they took 
them around Tokyo, to and from the courtroom and everything, 
keeping them disoriented. 

I was thinking of the Cateen Forest massacre. People used to say 
about European Jewry why would people go like sheep to the death 
camps, why wouldn't they revolt. That question was answered for 
me clearly when the officer corps of Poland, intelligent, college 
graduates, brave men who would charge tanks on horseback, all 
they had to do was not feed them for 3 weeks. This is also what 
the Croats did to the Serbs and the Serbs to the Croats just a cou- 
ple of years ago. When you don't feed someone for 3 weeks, and 
then you keep them blindfolded, they become disoriented, their 
whole body metabolism changes from not eating, and within weeks 
they were able to take 5,000 Czech officers and put them on a 
barge, take it out to the Baltic and sink it. They would take others 
into the woods, pull their coats up over their heads, and then fire 
a bullet into the back of their head. This was all determined, by 
the way, by Germans, and the Red Cross called into Cateen be- 
cause what was a bullet hole doing on the back, inside of these 
coats, and then they realized the method they had used. 

When you starve people, and when you disorient them, all of us 
become like sheep under this conditioning. 


The book title comes to mind that I read as a young man, the 
"Theory and Practice of Hell". 

Could I ask one thing. How many family members are in the 
room today? Leave your hands up. If you've heard of any of these 
horrors before, put your hand down. If you're hearing them for the 
first time, leave your hands up. 

So all of the family members had known about some of this hor- 
ror that the general and Colonel Corso are speaking of. This is 
tragic, that you would find this out and the Congress would be deaf 
to these stories, and so would the majority of our intelligence com- 

Colonel CORSO. Congressman, there is one more fact. They 
starved the prisoners and the people they had under their control 
to put them under conditioning. But our own prisoners told me 
that, in addition to that, they used the excess food method also. 
Give a man who's starving for a long time and all at once give him 
too much food, that was a method of conditioning, very strangely. 

Mr. DORNAN. Painful distention of the stomach and other things. 

All right. Let me turn to my vice chairman here. You can answer 
that in a second, general, please. Mr. Pickett. 

Mr. Pickett. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Colonel Corso, in your statement at the bottom of the first page, 
you make reference to a study that you wrote. 

Colonel CORSO. The "War in the POW Camps?" 

Mr. Pickett. It says, "I wrote a study on how this control ex- 
tended to the POW camps." 

Colonel CORSO. Yes. 

Mr. Pickett. Is a copy of that report study still available? 

Colonel CORSO. That was written — I wrote that in the Far East 
Command, and General MacArthur approved it. It was put out in 
booklet form. I wrote that in Korea when I took charge of intel- 
ligence inquires at the camp where they captured our general. I 
found the chief man down there and questioned him. He was a So- 
viet officer named Pac Sag Non. And then I found out how they 
systematically used our prisoners. 

When they were taken prisoner, they were still considered com- 
batants, and they were treated as such. The Geneva Convention to 
them didn't have any meaning whatsoever. I wrote that study, and 
Eden waved it on the floor of Parliament. And right after that, the 
British asked for the return of some of their prisoners, which some 
were given back. I don't know how many because I didn't have the 

But that study should be available. The title is — ^it was printed 
with the Far East Command logo on the front, and the title is "War 
in the POW Camps." They conducted war in both ours and their 
POW camps. 

Mr. Pickett. Thank you. 

The other question that I have, you were involved in this issue 
of the American POW's at the very outset during the war, when 
the events were actually taking place. 

Colonel CORSO. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Pickett. And you were a part of that. 


What happened to U.S. policy that we went so far afield and did 
so many things wrong and were unable to focus the required atten- 
tion on getting our military people back? 

Colonel CORSO. Well, Congressman, in Korea, when I was at 
Panmunjom, I was sitting there and I could hear the fighting going 
back and forth. When they tried to influence our decisions at Pan- 
munjom, they would attack. 

One night, a Marine colonel who bunked with me asked what 
was the matter with me, and I told him I hope I get back to Wash- 
ington and find out who these people are that are betraying our 
boys. General Walker even said that they knew our commands be- 
fore we even attacked. So that was one of the first times that I 
used this phrase, that one of our prayers was answered. 

Six weeks later I was sitting in the White House staff, the only 
place where I could find the information, and I found it. Later on 
I testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on this. 

Our policy was not made to win the war. Our policy — I call it the 
policy of paralysis and diversion. First the policy would paralyze 
our actions, and then they would divert it away from the POW 
issue, for example. 

There was not anything that I found — and I didn't deal with the 
CIA at all — there was nothing there on prisoners, even when I was 
at the White House. They weren't in the business. There was noth- 
ing in policy that said at the time, when I was searching the Na- 
tional Security Council papers, and the National Intelligence Esti- 
mates by the CIA, which stated that we would take any action for 
our returning prisoners. Nothing at all. It was silence. It didn't 
even say let's not get them. It said nothing. 

We tried to bring this up, and I did discuss this with the Presi- 
dent, who was sjrmpathetic. But the real policymakers, as I told 
Robert Kennedy when I went to see him with my testimony — and 
I had three sessions with him — I told him when I first met him — 
he had my testimony on his desk — and I told him, "Mr. Attorney 
General, if you and the President think you make policy, you're 
mistaken." Very strangely, his answer was, "I know that, Colonel. 
Let's discuss it." I was still in uniform when I met Robert Kennedy 
on my testimony. 

So there was nothing in our policy that said — in fact. General 
Clark, when he found out about the 500 sick and wounded which 
I mentioned. General Clark wanted to restart the war to go get our 
prisoners, he was so angry. Of course, policy forbid him to take it. 

Later on I wrote a study, too, that said what MacArthur never 
knew. Our policy was so that we couldn't go after victory. The cli- 
ches in there were such that they just paralyzed everything that 
we tried to do. We couldn't win that war. 

Later on, when I was with the National Security Council, I went 
to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and I showed them what paper was 
written — and I can name the General, but he's a good friend of 
mine — and I told him to be careful and I'll try to block this Na- 
tional Intelligence Estimate because it will be the same thing — at 
the time we called it Indochina; it wasn't Vietnam. I said it's going 
to be the same thing in Vietnam. Well, he did nothing about it and 
it became policy. So I went back over one day and I told him you 


live with it now. Another 50,000 dead. Well, I was a little wrong. 
It was 58,000 instead of 50,000. 

We had exactly the same policy on Vietnam that we had on 
Korea. There was no difference. Only the words were different, but 
they meant the same thing. In part, we called this the "Fig Leaf 
Policy" that, in my terms, was a policy of paralysis and diversion. 
That's what it was. And this went on for many years. In fact, I 
think it's still on today. I wouldn't doubt it, although I've been 
away from it for many years. 

Mr. Pickett. Do you see this failure to have an aggressive policy 
to recover the POW's as a failure of the civilian leadership or the 
military leadership? 

Colonel CORSO. Civilian leadership. They were the policymakers. 
Remember, Congressman, in those days there were strong moves 
for civilian control of everj^hing, in McNamara's time. In fact, in 
the Army we had the atomics, and we were going to put a man on 
the moon in 1961, and they took all that away from us, and gradu- 
ally took away our atomics and everything from the military, from 
the Army. The policy was to try to get civilian control and make 
the military kowtow to everj^hing. We used to talk about this quite 
often, and it can't be in the military, in war. 

This is what happened to us in Korea. We were stopped. Mac- 
Arthur, they were right when they said he disobeyed policy. He did 
when he tried to win the war. Our policy was not to win that war. 
The same thing in Vietnam. 

Actually, I named some of the policy papers, the numbers of 
them, and they still exist. They can be seen. Maybe they're still top 
secret, I don't know, because I've been away for many years. But 
they are there, and I went through these myself. 

Mr. DORNAN. We're looking for them and we're finding them. 

Mr. Pickett. General Sejna, in the series of events that you have 
made reference to, about the U.S. prisoners being used for medical 
experiments, what kind of records were maintained of these activi- 
ties? The Communist Government it seems liked to keep records on 
everything. If there are records, where would they be and who 
would have them? 

General Sejna. This I tell you, sir. When the representatives of 
some agency of the United States Government go to Czechoslovakia 
and they looked for some evidence, mostly to prove I lie, not to 
prove what is true about the POWs, I have some friends there and 
they said they told them you are 2 years late and you should go 
to Moscow, because this evidence is there. They have evidence 
about each soldier, what drugs they used, what was the results of 
the medical examination and so on. 

Some of them were done by Czech doctors, some of them, most 
of them, were from the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union give us 
some results because, otherwise, our researchers and scientists 
cannot proceed with the scientific research. But after the collapse 
of communism, or before communism collapsed, I heard they were 
supposed to take it to the Soviet Union and the KGB. 

I was thinking, when they go there, they will go to me and ask 
me, look, if we go there, to whom do you think we can go, who we 
can ask? It was a secret for me because they go there. I learn it 
from friends in Czechoslovakia. Of course, if you ask the Minister 


of Defense, who absolutely supported the occupation of Czecho- 
slovakia by Soviet troops, you ask him about such evidence and he 
says I never saw any evidence, which to me is not fact. He didn't 
see it, so 

Mr. DORNAN. Which to me is not what? 

General Sejna. To me it is not any fact, because he was not at 
that time the Defense Minister. He was commander of a platoon or 
a company and he was in support of the Russians. What do we ex- 
pect he will tell us? He will tell us yes, it is true? This is really 
a joke of what happened. 

I think this is supposed to be done again, orderly, and to people 
who have knowledge about it. I hope some are still alive. Maybe 
some not. Some like Colonel Bobka, who was officially in Korea, 
but he was an intelligence officer and he wouldn't probably tell us 
anything because he was a devout Stalinist. 

But there are some people who were, after the occupation of 
Czechoslovakia, fired and punished, and in some instances I am 
sure they would be willing to talk. But you must know to whom 
you go, what you're asking, not making him scared he will be pun- 
ished again by somebody. It simply should be a different approach. 

Mr. DORNAN. Mr. Pickett, would you yield for just one second? 

Mr. Pickett. I would be happy to yield. 

Mr. DORNAN. Because this is integral to what your questioning 

Please tell this room, and the American television audience, what 
you wrote in your testimony about your image of Americans. It was 
that they were tall, rugged, and it came from seeing cowboy movies 
as a young man. We forget that Hitler saw "Grone with the Wind" 
and critiqued it to Eva Braun, in color, on the porch of 

Your image of Americans was tough and strong, and you saw 
with your own eyes these transferred American POW's and you 
were shocked at how dazed and weak they appeared. I want my 
colleagues in America to know you're stating before a U.S. congres- 
sional subcommittee, the Subcommittee on Military Personnel, that 
you physically saw them, you were close to them. Did you speak 
to them? 

General Sejna. I didn't speak English at that time, but I saw 
them and I was there in the barracks when they took them from 
the airport. 

I can tell you that I know America generally from the Soviet in- 
formation and propaganda and from the Holljrwood movies, so we 
always thought Americans can do what they want; they are tough 
guys. And when I saw these guys, they were like sheep. You know, 
they were simply finished. For sure, they even don't know where 
they are. 

I tell you, before they transferred into Czechoslovakia, we had a 
meeting and my Minister asked Marshal Grechko how we can feed 
them, because they are supposed to stay 2 days. He said don't feed 
them too much because we test them for how the drugs are work- 
ing in the war. In the war, they will not eat too much. The Min- 
ister told him, as we know, the Koreans treat Americans like dogs, 
and Grechko left and said they deserve it, but still, the Koreans 


don't eat them, because people say they eat dogs. So he said they 
treat them very bad, but they still don't eat them. 

Mr. Pickett. Can you identify. General, for this committee, the 
specific Czech military unit that had responsibility for oversight of 
these prisoners? 

General Sejna. The major responsibility was the individual serv- 
ice and the Scientific Institute of the Air Force, because they did 
the major testing, and also the Central Military Hospital in 

Mr. Pickett. And did you ever have occasion to — and would you 
be able to provide the same information as to the specific Soviet 
military unit that was receiving these prisoners? 

General Sejna. Yeah. It was all this — like the main medical ad- 
ministration, military administration. They got their orders from 
the Soviets, the main medical administration at the general staff, 
and they proceeded in Czechoslovakia. So all of them were con- 
nected to the same counterparts in the Soviet Union. 

Of course, the Soviet Union was the Academy of Science that 
participated, because many things they keep even secret from us, 
because you know how the Soviets are secret. Even if people who 
know about these things were checked by Soviet military in the re- 
gion. You cannot put anybody through this business if the Soviet 
military counterintelligence wouldn't approve it, because they 
didn't want this information to go to the West or whatever. 

Mr. Pickett. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. DORNAN. Mr. Skelton. 

Mr. Skelton. Thank you. 

Colonel Corso, you have referred to the so-called big switch and 
the little switch. Regarding the little switch, there were 500 sick 
and wounded that were not returned. Can you tell us what hap- 
pened to them? 

Colonel CORSO. My later information said that almost all of them 

Now, the way I found out this information — and I wrote the pres- 
entation that was given, that same day, almost, I think the next 
day, at the delegation — ^Admiral Daniel gave it. He was the No. 2 
man after General Harrison. The Chinese general had a pencil in 
his hand when he heard this and just snapped it in half, that was 

The way I found out the information was two ways. We had a 
Korean colonel as a member of our delegation. He came to me and 
gave me the information that he got from the workers who had 
built a pagoda or something where the prisoners came through 
from the Communist side. We built a little one and they built a big- 
ger one. He told me that the civilians had told him there were 500 
Americans sitting out there, an estimate. 

Then later that 

Mr. DORNAN. How many miles from Panmunjom? 

Colonel CORSO. About 10 miles, within 10 miles. 

Then the same day our prisoners started to come through. I was 
there meeting them, and I shook hands with a lot of the boys and 
talked to them. I had the Koiean colonel with me, standing with 
me all the time, because we had become friends during the period 
of negotiations, and our own boys told me that there were sick and 


wounded Americans not 10 miles from the camp, and none of them 
were exchanged. 

Later on I presented this, as I said, wrote it at the United Na- 
tions, and General Clark got his hands on it and got really angry. 
That's when he wanted to restart the war. Those boys were never 
exchanged. The reason for it, were they holding them as hostages 
for bargaining, or maybe they were too sick and wounded to ex- 
change and they wanted the newspapermen to see it, I don't know 
the reason why they didn't exchange them. But they didn't give 
them to us, did not. 

Mr. DORNAN. Mr. Skelton, could I ask a follow up on that? 

Mr. Skelton. You bet. 

Mr. DoRNAN. One of the dumbest things Jane Fonda ever said 
in her life was that — when we returned North Vietnamese pris- 
oners, there were many amputees among them, amputees because 
of excellent medical care. The nurses in the hospitals up in I Corps, 
when I went there as a journalist, told me that North Vietnamese 
were no more immune to the malaria of the south than Americans 
were, and that they all had stomach worms. So when they were 
wounded, they were immediately infected. So we amputated some 
arms and legs. 

In North Vietnam, if an amputation was required, the person 
ended up dying. They didn't bother. They took out elbows, took out 
bones, took out one Army Green Beret's — so much of his bones that 
his hand, according to Dr. Floyd Kirshner, who survived this hell, 
was a sack of fluid hanging at the end of his arm. But he miracu- 
lously survived. 

The young men you were talking to, were there any amputees? 
Were there any mentally walking wounded, described as "zom- 

Colonel CORSO. At the Senate committee, Senator Grassley asked 
me that question. My answer was that I was there from the begin- 
ning when the first men, the sick and wounded, first came over, 
until the last one came in. I didn't see one soldier with crutches, 
which wasn't — which couldn't be. 

Mr. DORNAN. I didn't tell you the stupidness of Fonda, when she 
said, look, they took better care of our POWs — when they fattened 
up through January 1973, and there were no amputees, head inju- 
ries, or no catatonic people like Glen Cobeil or — let me look at this 
list of four that disappeared, and they think Cobeil was — a B-52 
pilot captured in December, said he thought he saw Cobeil sitting 
alone, catatonic, on a bench in the Heartbreak courtyard in Hanoi. 
But Ron Stewart, Norm Schmidts, James J. Connell, and John — 
well, Freddie Frederick died of cholera up at Dogpatch. But the 
other three were known to be in the system in 1970. They hadn't 
been tortured but they had mental problems. They kept them be- 
hind for sure. 

So this confirms what I thought, and how stupid Jane Fonda 
was, that the North Vietnamese going back with crutches and am- 
putations, it was so stupid — it was like we cut their limbs off but 
they took better care of our men. 

Colonel CORSO. Ours did not come across like that. 

Mr. DORNAN. I'm on Mr. Skelton's time here. I'm sorry. 


Colonel CORSO. My estimate was, one of the reasons I think they 
didn't come back was because they were too badly wounded and it 
wouldn't have looked good, with the newspaper men there with 
cameras. So those boys never came back. It was just that simple. 

Mr. Skelton. Thanlc you, Colonel. 

I'm intrigued, going back to your previous testimony, by the com- 
ment made by the Attorney General, Robert Kennedy, when he 
said he knew that he was not making the policy. 

Who made this policy? 

Colonel CORSO. On April 9, 1962, I was still in the military, and 
I testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator Dirksen 
was presiding, and Senator Dodd was there, Senator Keating, 
McClellan, and I laid all this out. It took me 2 days to lay this out, 
how policy was made, the people that made it. In fact, until today, 
that testimony is still top secret after all these years. 

Mr. Skelton. Is it top secret at this moment? 

Colonel CORSO. It's still top secret. The CIA will not want it re- 
leased because they say of implications. In fact, when I asked a few 
years back if they released it, they said we've got to protect the 
source. I told him, wait a minute, I'm the source. I don't want to 
be protected. [Laughter.] 

Mr. DORNAN. Sick laughter. 

Colonel CORSO. So it still hasn't been released. It's still top se- 

Mr. Skelton. Would it be above top secret, or just top secret? 

Colonel CORSO. It was top secret. Of course, they say that too 
many names are there. Well, those are the people who made this 
policy, and I figured they should be made to answer for it. 

Mr. DORNAN. And most of them are dead. 

Colonel CORSO. Because that was directly what was involved on 
why our prisoners weren't given back. 

Mr. Skelton. Mr. Chairman, maybe at a subsequent mo- 

Colonel CORSO. Maybe it would be worthwhile for the committee 
to try to get that testimony. 

Mr. Dornan. We will. 

Colonel CORSO. It's still classified. 

Mr. Skelton. That's my suggestion. 

Colonel CORSO. They won't even give it to me. And it was my tes- 

Mr. Dornan. Well, you're looking at two of the better Democrats 
in recent history, and if they take over the chairmanship of this 
committee, nothing will change. We will pursue those records. 

Right, gentlemen? 

Colonel CORSO. If you do, Mr. Chairman, I would like to see my 
own testimony, because 

Mr. Dornan. Well, your memory is so good that you don't have 
to see it, but it will be interesting to see if we get it. 

Go ahead, Mr. Skelton. 

Colonel CORSO. It's still there. 

Mr. Skelton. I think the answer is obvious, that this informa- 
tion should be made available to us, either in a classified forum or 


I have a question, Colonel, and I'm not sure exactly how to word 
this, because we have different administrations and maybe in your 
answer you can pinpoint the various administrations with which 
you dealt, so please put that in the back of your mind when you 
answer this question. 

Mr. Douglass has made some allegations that the official policy 
of the United States is to suppress the fullest possible accounting 
of our POW's, and yet we have a record of efforts made by the U.S. 
Government to obtain the fullest accounting. 

Can you comment on the accuracy of Mr. Douglass' conclusions? 
Can you explain this disconnect insofar as each of the administra- 
tions is concerned? 

Colonel CORSO. As far as the policy was concerned — and I go 
back to my conversation with Robert Kennedy, Attorney General at 
the time — our Government had a group, something like the British 
had, sort of an elite. From that group came the national intel- 
ligence estimates, which were done at CIA, from a Board of Na- 
tional Estimates. Those reports were consistent, always classified, 
for policy. 

In one particular instance I saw one of those NIE's, and it be- 
came national policy, where the Army, Navy, and Air Force de- 
scended its entirety. It had became national policy. Those were the 
bases of policy. They were supposed to be based on hard intel- 
ligence. Instead, they were based on preconceived concepts and 
maybe some ideology. This was one of the battles that we fought. 
In fact, it almost cost my general his job at one time. 

Mr. DORNAN. Which general? 

Colonel CORSO. Arthur Trudeau. 

Within this policy, the framework of this policy, it entered into 
every facet of putting pressure on the Soviet Union and their sat- 
ellites. In every case, the policy was in different phases. This policy 
went on from the 1940's almost to the eighties, almost. Maybe it's 
still going on. I don't know because I've been away from it and I 
don't have access to the classified papers any more. 

But this policy stopped, and we called it paralysis and diversion. 
It paralyzed every effort against the Soviet Union, such things as 
fear of general war, a nuclear holocaust, we shouldn't put pressure 
on the Soviet Union, we shouldn't try to detach a satellite. Those 
things were consistent. We shouldn't be strident against the Sovi- 
ets. That was policy that was written, and I put this in all my tes- 
timony, the people that made the policy, their names. 

And the media went along with this. Within that framework fell 
our prisoners of war. I discussed this with Robert Kennedy. Be- 
cause we couldn't put pressure on the Soviet Union or the sat- 
ellites, we couldn't — they had our prisoners and we couldn't put 
pressure on them. That was it. Our policy forbid us from doing it. 
If you did it, you were disobeying national policy. 

I wrote an article one time on what MacArthur never knew. Mac- 
Arthur was not there to win in Korea. He couldn't, according to na- 
tional policy. They had in the policy papers that Korea was an in- 
conclusive operation. Who said that? I don't know where it came 
from, but it came from the national intelligence estimates, which 
were classified. 


The way policy worked, usually, the State Department policy 
planning staff would send a paragraph over to CIA, that they 
wanted a policy on this. Now, the national intelligence estimates, 
the CIA, was supposed to base that on hard intelligence. In fact, 
it wasn't hard intelligence we found out later. It was based on what 
they thought, their conception. Like the general said, he said they 
were idiots. They weren't idiots. Some of these people were very in- 
telligent men. 

I had one defector tell me that he thought he defected to the FBI, 
and when he went in, he was sent to the CIA and a man came in 
and interrogated him. He pointed and said, my God, you're one of 
ours. The man laughed at him. Now, this was way back. 

The NIE's would be circulated around, and my general got in a 
problem, when he was Chief of Army Intelligence, for the simple 
reason — they used to send that to us on Friday afternoon, and 
want the comments by the next morning, so that we wouldn't take 
exception to them and checking intelligence. 

Mr. DORNAN. Would the gentleman yield? 

Mr. Skelton. Yes. 

Mr. DORNAN. I just had a document put in front of me — and I've 
never seen it before — and it confirms everything Colonel Corso is 

A U.S. Senator, in my party, got up and walked out on Colonel 
Corso, after mcddng a statement that he never knew Eisenhower 
personally — that's interesting; I met him once. He said, I have — 
and he repeated the word four times — many, many, many, many 
friends who knew General Eisenhower, and I just can't believe any 
of this, and he got up and walked out before you had given your 
full rationale of why General Eisenhower saw himself in this clas- 
sic dilemma of a box, of how much a threat you put upon this Com- 
munist puppet state of North Korea, when Stalin — well, Stalin died 
within days, March 5, and Eisenhower had been sworn in January 

Colonel Corso. And they never exposed Stalin's death, because 
it was suppressed in our Government. 

Mr. DORNAN. But here is a document — and I'm going to pass it 
to you, Mr. Skelton. It still has "secret" at the top. Usually they're 
supposed to cross it out, when it says declassified with deletions, 
and it was only declassified October 4, 1992, not even 3 years ago. 
It's dated November 9, 1953. It goes to the Department of State, 
gives all the names of the people it went to, the Department of De- 
fense, CIA — there are no names for the CIA. 

It then says, "UN POW Atrocities Program", and the title is the 
"Operations Coordinating Board", just what Colonel Corso is telling 
us. Then it says "OCB, Colonel Corso, Mr. Toner, Colonel Hurst", 
this is probably jogging your memory, "Mr. Norberg." 

What does OCB mean? 

Colonel Corso. Operations Coordinating Board. 

Mr. DoRNAN. Oh. OK. It's your memo. 

Colonel Corso. It's part of the National Seciu-ity Council. 

Mr. Dornan. Down here it talks about emphasizing the 
McCurren theory, since Stalin insisted — and it goes on to talk 
about the McCurren theory. Then on page 4 the Army Fact Sheet 
on Communist Treatment of U.S. POW's, Mr. McKnight — now. 


that's the Department of State man — referred to the Department 
of State comments on this fact sheet to the effect that a supple- 
mental instruction sheet would be issued. 

Then it says Tig Leaf. Just what you're talking about, which 
seems to have offended so many people in today's intelligence com- 
munity dismissing you 

Colonel CORSO. That gentleman got suspended later at the State 

Mr. DoRNAN. McKnight did. 

Colonel CoRSO. Yes. 

Mr. DORNAN. Here's just a brief paragraph on Fig Leaf. 

Mr. Bloch — he was probably referred to earlier in the memo, but 
not at the top, "Mr. Bloch raised the basic issue of whether or not 
there was anything left of the Tig Leaf with regard to not con- 
fronting the USSR directly. Mr. McKnight," who you say was sus- 
pended later, "had been at a meeting with representatives from FE, 
NEA, and P * * *" Is P the President's office? 

Colonel CORSO. Yeah. 

Mr. DORNAN. What's FE, do you know? 

Colonel CoRSO. FE. It might be Far East Command. I don't 

Mr. DORNAN. Maybe it would jog your memory if you saw it. 

"* * * in which they had revised the existing guidances and had 
agreed that they are appropriate. We have evidence of Soviet par- 
ticipation in the Korean war, and this can be used in the output." 

The evidence? The evidence is now general officers in uniform, 
telling how they flew, showing pictures of themselves that I saw on 
a BBC documentary, of them showing photographs of them like 
U.S. Flying Tigers in the winter of 1941, with all of their uniform 
regalia removed, in Chinese uniforms, fur hats, boots, on their way 
to fly MiG-15's against our 

Mr. Skelton. Is it 1941 or 1951? 

Mr. DoRNAN. Well, 1941 was when our Flying Tigers did this, 
and these guys were copying our Flying Tigers 9 years later, in 
1950-51. There's photographs of them in Beijing on the way to fly 
out of North Korean air bases after they pushed us south again. 

Go ahead. Back on your time. 

Mr. Skelton. ThanJc you. 

I would like to ask each one of you this question. General, I 
would like to start with you, if I may. And I'm not sure this has 
been asked. 

Based upon your experience, do you believe there are any Amer- 
ican prisoners of war or missing in actions alive today in Korea, 
Vietnam, or elsewhere? General, we'll ask you first. 

General Sejna. Yes, I believe they are in Korea, Vietnam, China, 
and Russia. 

Mr. Skelton. Thank you. 

Mr. Douglass? 

Mr. Douglass. Yes, there's not much question in my mind. I be- 
lieve the^re alive, also, in Russia, China, Korea and Vietnam. 

Mr. Skelton. Colonel Corso? 


Colonel CORSO. Congressman, I'll use myself as an example. I 
was on the ground when the prisoners came across at Panmunjom. 
I'm 81 years old and I'm still here. Those boys could be around yet. 

Mr. Skelton. So your answer is yes. 

Colonel CORSO. Only the conditions they lived under, of course, 
reduces that chance. But at my age, I'm still around. Some of them 
were strong boys, most of them, and they could still be around. Not 
many of them, but there could be some there. 

Mr. Skelton. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. DORNAN. Colonel Corso — I mean this quite seriously, and it 
sounds humorous — you have had a far more dangerous diet, we all 
have, in this wealthy country, to your health, than somebody living 
without salt, on what we think is a subsistence diet, but we're deal- 
ing with the body that comes from the savanna in Africa, and a 
simple diet of hunters and gatherers might sustain better health 
than all of the high cholesterol food that you and I have been eat- 
ing ever since Panmunjom. 

Colonel CORSO. It could be, yes. 

Mr. DoRNAN. Let me turn to Mr. Lewis of Kentucky. 

Mr. Lewis. Colonel Corso, let me just say that I think this is 
going to be one of the most shameful periods in the history of this 

Has there been an active suppression to keep this particular in- 
formation from being brought out? 

Colonel CORSO. No. I think it came in the framework of our pol- 
icy. The framework of our policy is that we put no pressure on the 
Soviets. I think it came within that framework. I don't think it was 
actually people getting together at a table and saying, "Let's not 
give our prisoners back." I think it just happened because policy 
governed it. It said don't put any pressure on them, and they had 
our prisoners. 

If we don't put any pressure on them, they do what they please 
with them. And what did they do? They exploited them. Even in 
the meeting I had with President Eisenhower, it wasn't as the 
newspaper said it. What he suppressed was the intelligence aspect 
of this. They took our prisoners and actually took their identity. 
They would interrogate them and take every facet of their life, and 
then take that and give it to the Soviets and play them back. 

We knew about this. That's what we were suppressing. That was 
the intelligence aspect. We called it look-alikes and sent back as 
agents and saboteurs. 

Mr. DORNAN. You discussed that with President Eisenhower? 

Colonel CORSO. Yes, sir, I did. I discussed that with the Presi- 
dent. That was what we decided, the intelligence aspect, because 
we were still after these people, trying to get them. The President 
agreed. But the President never did suppress the numbers. He told 
me I could release them. I had a figure of 900 or 1,200. The Presi- 
dent told me to go ahead. I asked him. I sent them to the Depart- 
ment of Defense and up to the United Nations. It was not held 
back. So the newspaper stories were not right. 

Mr. DORNAN. Mr. Lewis, this is what the Senators did not wait 
to hear. They stomped out of the room, as though it was their 
brother involved. When General Van Fleet, a four-star commander, 
had a West Point son, tall, intelligent, handsome, who was held be- 


hind, imagine how they would treat the son of a four-star com- 
mander. General Van Fleet said in 1954 or 1955, there was a time 
when America would have sent a carrier battle group into the har- 
bor at Wonsan and said one word — it sounds very Teddy Roo- 
sevelt — "produce." And he lived to be 100 years of age, never know- 
ing the fate of — He only died in 1992, 1 week younger than my fa- 

Colonel CORSO. The British did something like that and they got 
prisoners back. 

Mr. DORNAN. They did? I never heard this. 

Colonel CORSO. They got some back. 

Mr. DORNAN. As the French got some back from Vietnam while 
we were there. 

Colonel CORSO. They protested to the Russians, and they got 
prisoners back. We never did lodge a protest. 

Also, Congressman, we're all confronted with numbers, how 
many prisoners were in Soviet hands. This confusion of numbers, 
I would like to explain it. 

When I received reports of prisoners in Communist hands, and 
I had a figure, from time to time I would see reports where a pris- 
oner died or a prisoner escaped, was missing or something. That 
information was not kept in the intelligence channels. That was 
sent to G— 1, personnel. Personnel kept the records of missing men 
in action, not G— 2, the intelligence division. So I would send that 
information to G— 1. They would take it on their list. 

My list came from the combat zones. A lot of times it was esti- 
mates, but after it was confirmed and reconfirmed, I would arrive 
at a figure and put that in the reports and send it by teleconfer- 
ence to the Pentagon. So you will almost always find two sets of 
figures. One of them is the personnel figures and the other is intel- 
ligence figures. 

Many of the skeptics take those figures and try to debunk every- 
thing. They don't know that G— 1 is responsible for missing pris- 
oners, not G— 2. We were responsible for the intelligence aspect, 
what the^re doing, where they are, and how they're treated. G— 1 
kept the figures on people missing in action. 

So when you run across the numbers game and the skeptics 
come up and say, "Oh, that figure is different than this one", you 
see why. There are two sets. 

Mr. Lewis. Colonel, this is my next question. How did the Gov- 
ernment reduce the number from 944 down to 430, and then down 
to 388 POW's that 

Colonel CORSO. I don't know. I never reduced anything like that 
with my figures in intelligence. Unless I had reports to reduce it, 
I didn't. I didn't use a slide rule. I used the reports that came to 
me from all sources in Korea, and there, if I thought the report was 
accurate and had names of people, the places and camps they were 
in, then I would reduce a figure on intelligence and send that infor- 
mation to G— 1, the personnel people. 

Maybe that's the way it happened, but I don't know. I can't an- 
swer you. Congressman. I never heard of those figures. I never 
compiled figures like that, and I was responsible. Where do they 
come from? Maybe they have confused the two, as I tried to ex- 
plained, of personnel and intelligence. They are different. 


Mr. Lewis. Thank you. 

Mr. Skelton. Colonel, hindsight being what it is — and this is a 
difficult question, sir — what would you do over again different, if 

Colonel CORSO. I don't know. Congressman. I tried everything I 
could at the time. I got in bad and people were sniping at me. I 
was attacked in the newspapers, and even attacked on the floor of 
the Senate and the House because of this problem. 

What would I do? I wouldn't do anything different. Just keep 
pushing and try to get those boys back. After all, they were my 
companions. I was one of them. When I looked at the boys coming 
across at Panmunjom, I thought that, but for the grace of God, 
there go I. I did my best to try to get them across, and at the White 
House I think I influenced the President to try to do something 
about it. And he did. But let's say the cards were stacked against 
him with the polic3rmakers. I would do nothing different than what 
I did. 

Mr. DORNAN. One of the reasons that you two gentlemen — did 
you testify, Mr. Douglass, on the Senate side? 

Mr. Douglass. No. 

Mr. DORNAN. One of the reasons you were disrespected was that 
part of the staff over there was compromised, compromised in the 
sense that they had a preconceived agenda, they were leaking 
memos back and forth to some offices in the Pentagon, and they 
didn't want to hear from you. I don't know how you got called, un- 
less it was by my courageous friend, Senator Bob Smith of New 
Hampshire. They just didn't want to hear from you. So that's why 
there was no followup. So you waited 40 years to testify to the 
American people, and nothing came of it. 

I want to do something unusual here, and it's probably going to 
get him in hot water, but I understand that some action may al- 
ready be underway to silence him and take him off active duty. But 
would Commander "Chip" Beck please come up and take that 
fourth seat there? I want to ask you a question about your experi- 
ence in counterterrorism. I believe you went down to Florida and 
first interviewed Colonel Corso as a followup by the Senate Com- 

Commander Beck, you're trained in counterterrorism and you 
had known Buckley, William Buckley, who was murdered while 
held as a hostage, sorely beaten to death over months, until finally 
he gave up the spirit, he mentored you, did he not, in some way, 
in Lebanon? 

Commander Beck. That's correct, sir. 

Mr. DORNAN. Does all of this seem plausible to you, with your 
training in counterterrorism and tracking the Cubans for several 
decades throughout numerous countries in the world, and in some 
of those countries you actually confronted them? 

Commander Beck. I had planned to get into this when our panel 
meets, but what I have heard here from Colonel Corso and General 
Sejna and Joe Douglass tracks very well with what I was trained 

I spent 23 years in the clandestine service, as well as 33 years 
in uniform total, and I have seen what the other side does to us, 
in places where it wasn't even supposed to happen. It's very inter- 


esting, in listening to these gentlemen and their historical perspec- 
tive, and it tracks very well with what I know to have happened 
in other parts of the world and other operations. 

I think there was a very big, clandestine, covert operation aimed 
at exploiting our prisoners of war from World War II, through 
Korea, the cold war, and into Vietnam. It was all connected. It was 

Mr. DORNAN. I wanted an overlap of panels here, because one of 
the amazing things about getting information out to the American 
people is that the cameras start shutting down — we're already 
down from six to four. They always have like a 3 o'clock deadline. 
I wanted a committee overlap here. 

I understand you became a friend to Victor Blenko, the afore- 
mentioned MiG-25 pilot who, without a thimbleful of fuel left, 
went off the end of the runway in Japan when he brought us the 
first MiG— 25, to the point where he has painted your house and 
you have become very close friends. 

But Victor Blenko, if I remember reading one of your reports, 
told you that, as a Soviet fighter pilot during the Vietnam period, 
they were getting information of air battle tactics that were so ac- 
curate and so timely that he just assumed it came from the interro- 
gation by the Soviet Army military of our pilots. 

Did I get that impression right? 

Commander BECK. Yes, sir, very much. Victor Blenko, who de- 
fected 20 years ago this month, in fact, has been my friend for 12 
or more years. We have even worked together in the past. 

We have discussed the POW issue probably over the last 6 to 8 
years, just as officers who worked on different sides. Victor, while 
he admits that he doesn't have direct knowledge, he said, "Look, 

when I was a young pilot " and he defected in 1976, "I was an 

instructor pilot in the Soviet Union, the Russian Air Force, and we 
used to get requirements. We would send out requirements on air 
combat maneuvering, dogfighting tactics, ACM and other require- 
ments that were of interest to the Soviet Air Force. We would get 
back incredible briefing on those things within 2 weeks." 

He said, "I know the way the system works." It just seemed im- 
possible to him that this information could have been sent from the 
Russians to the Vietnamese, have some Vietnamese translate it 
into English, debrief the English-speaking pilot, and go back all the 
way up the system. He said it had to have been by GRU officers 
speaking directly to American pilots. 

He said there was precedence for this in Korea. He said he knew 
the way the system works. That's what he thinks happened. And 
even though he thinks it happened, that becomes part of the mo- 
saic that I think we need to get into when we try and find out what 
happened to the POWs. There's a big mystery here. 

I know how covert operations work and how they're conducted, 
how they're covered up, on both sides, in the intelligence fields. 

Mr. DORNAN. What did you think of the Kalugin tape? Had you 
ever seen that tape before? 

Commander Beck. I just saw it for the first time about a week 
ago. My supervisor, Norm Kass, showed it to me. 

I find that amazing. I understand it was done about 4 years ago. 

Mr. DORNAN. Is it credible, what he's saying? 


Commander Beck. It's very credible. I made some notes while I 
was watching it, that I 

Mr. DORNAN. Hold right there, because the next panel is coming 

I am going to implore the conduit to the American people, for the 
sake of these families, to please go call your bosses and ask if some 
of the cameras couldn't stay. I'm loathe to dismiss you gentlemen 
because I have more questions, but I have to because of this 3 
o'clock camera deadline. 

You are available to come back, and you live in Florida, Colonel 

Colonel CoRSO. Yes, sir. 

Mr. DORNAN. And you live where 

General Sejna. Any time. 

Mr. DoRNAN. All right. I'm not through with this. 

But on the next panel — and there's no paralysis or deception 
here. I'm thinking of three D's: discrediting, disrespecting, and dis- 
missing, before the diversion, the paralysis and diversion, to use 
your term, Colonel Corso. 

The next panel will be panel two. Panel three wanted to go first, 
so that they could give their statements, all massaged for public re- 
lations value, the cameras are on, they flee the room and leave 
hardly anybody to listen to the foUowup. But I said "No way" when 
General Wald asked me if his people could go first, "because they're 
so busy." So busy doing what, with 89 people? So busy doing what? 
That they couldn't have 50 of them here, with this stunning, star- 
tling testimony. 

Some people from DPMO came in late, so I hope — I'm assigning 
them, as a U.S. congressional chairman, to read every word of the 
testimony here today. I'm assigning you that. Read it [applause]. 

The next panel will be just you, Mr. Bell, Mr. Gamett Bell, 
former special assistant for negotiations, joint task force — full ac- 
counting, who spent over 2 years in Hanoi, and was director of that 
office there, the first American into Hanoi to run that office, and 
Mr. Jay Veith, POW/MIA researcher and analyst. 

I have a three-star lady general who wants to say hello to me 
for 1 minute, so, gentlemen, thank you very much for your testi- 
mony, General, Mr. Douglass, Colonel Corso. And we'll be hearing 
from Mr. Beck in about an hour, I guess. The witnesses are dis- 
missed. Thank you very much. 

General Sejna. Thank you very much. 

Mr. DORNAN. I literally want to take about a 2-minute break, if 
Mr. Veith and Bill Bell would please come forward. 


Mr. DoRNAN. The subcommittee will come back to order. We 
need Mr. Bell and Mr. Veith at the witness table. 

We will start with Mr. Bell. If you have an opening statement, 
you can abbreviate it or submit it for the record. It's your call. The 
same with Mr. Jay Veith. 

Let me formally give your titles. Mr. Gamett Bill Bell, former 
special assistant for negotiations in Hanoi, joint task force — full ac- 
counting, and Mr. Jay Veith, POW/MIA researcher and analyst. I 
have had a chance to have Mr. Bell before the committee several 
times, and I've had a chance to talk to you in person, Jay. 


Mr. Bell, if you would go first with your statement, please. 
One second. Please rise. 
[Panel swom.l 


Mr. Bell. Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the commit- 
tee, thank you for this opportunity to testify today regarding an 
issue of utmost national importance and priority. 

As a veteran of the Vietnam war, and as a former POW/MIA ex- 
pert, I am encouraged that although our Grovemment has moved 
rapidly forward to do business as usual with a very determined 
former adversary, there remain at least some members of this tra- 
ditionally prudent institution who remain determined to find the 
truth concerning our missing men. 

I welcome the opportunity to share with you what I have learned 
over some 30 years of involvement with Indochina, especially the 
country of Vietnam. Learning the intricacies of Vietnam has been 
a long, arduous process, and I feel that there is much more for all 
of us to learn. 

Our Government officials being assigned to the area today will 
find that, in reality, little has changed. If I was asked to give ad- 
vice to any young official going over to work with the Vietnamese 
on this important issue, I would first of all suggest that he study 
carefully the voluminous records avcdlable detailing how the Com- 
munist Party of Vietnam has dealt with this issue in the past. 

I would recommend to him that, this clear record notwithstand- 
ing, he should always try to be objective. If encountered doubt, I 
would beseech him to give the benefit of that doubt to the missing 
man. Concerning a proper working relationship, I would advise him 
to be familiar but not friendly. Perhaps most importantly, I would 
emphasize to him that he should always remember that he is going 
to Vietnam to work with the Vietnamese, rather than for them. 

In Hanoi, during 1992, I was replaced by a young infantry officer 
with a degree in physical education. At that time, a visiting senior 
member of the new Task Force-Full Accounting from Hawaii in- 
vited me to remain and do some type of unspecified work in the 
new office. 

Mr. DORNAN. What month was that, when the infantry officer 
was to replace you? 

Mr. Bell. That was April 1992, sir. 

Mr. DoRNAN. April 1992. 

What rank was he, a captain, a major? 

Mr. Bell. A lieutenant colonel. 

I was told that if I remained in Vietnam, I would soon learn that 
"POW/MIA work can be fun." Since I held the behef that POW/MIA 
work was a very solemn and serious matter of the highest national 
priority, and that my primary mission was to lay bare the facts and 
let the facts speak for themselves, I declined to become part of this 
new effort. 

Although resources, both human and material, were increased 
greatly, and although activities were rapidly expanded, actual re- 
sults began to diminish and our Government quickly found itself in 


a vastly weakened negotiating stance. While the opinions of those 
experienced in negotiating with and working with the Vietnamese 
experts were ignored, the opinions of young, inexperienced person- 
nel recently arriving in Vietnam were readily accepted. At the 
same time, a very small number of our former POW's began to cite 
their long periods of captivity during the war as having provided 
them with the expertise and background necessary to make sound 
recommendations regarding our Government's handling of the 
POW/MIA issue and the development of relations with Communist 

Mr. Chairman, please do not misunderstand me on this point. I 
believe that any man who answered our Nation's call to duty and 
served honorably in Vietnam deserves credit for his service. This 
is especially true regarding our former prisoners of war. 

But there is, nevertheless, one point we should all pause and re- 
flect on from time to time, and that is the fact that many of our 
troops who served as grunts lived under extremely miserable condi- 
tions on a daily basis. Those who returned for second and third 
tours of duty in leech-invested swamps never knew from one mo- 
ment to the next when their head might explode from a sniper's 
round, or when their arms and legs might be blown off by mines. 

I can't speak for all grunts, and I'm somewhat ashamed to admit 
it, but I have seen the time when I would have been willing to give 
almost anything in order to be able to crawl into a dry prison cell 
and be provided a bowl of pumpkin soup. In my opinion, although 
service as a POW or a grunt is both admirable and commendable, 
it does not automatically qualify either to give advice on highly 
technical matters such as POW/MIA. 

During 1992 and 1993, we found ourselves in a position where 
we were represented on the ground by young, inexperienced per- 
sonnel, and guided here in Washington by a small number of per- 
sonnel who had literally spent years in Vietnam during the war 
but who were isolated from the outside world. This, too, may pro- 
vide to be a valid point for evaluation by not only this important 
committee but other committees dealing with the foreign policy as- 
pects as well, because the fundamental question needing an answer 
is: Does an individual gain profound insight concerning the geog- 
raphy, language, culture, ideology and thought patterns of the in- 
habitants of any country, especially regarding the leadership, if he 
is confined to a windowless room and permitted to meet only with 
those who are professionally trained to employ psychological tech- 
niques designed to influence his behavior? 

I believe that, in this regard, our analysts here in Washington 
have consistently underestimated the Vietnamese, especially their 
capability for proselytizing and psychological warfare. During a 
symposium on Vietnam held in April of this year at the Center for 
the Study of the Vietnam Conflict, at Texas Tech University, my 
colleague, Mr. George Veith, and I presented a research paper enti- 
tled, "POWs and PoHtics: How Much Does Hanoi Really Know?" I 
hope that all members of this committee will find the time to read 
this detailed paper, which we believe sheds more light on the is- 
sues of proselytizing and propaganda by Vietnamese Government 


I might add that the foreign affairs element of the National Lib- 
eration Front, code named CP-72, was positioned only 90 miles off 
the coast of Florida during the war, and their personnel worked 
closely with the Cuban government in manipulating the antiwar 
movement here in the United States. 

Mr. DORNAN. Mr. Bell, just read that last statement one more 
time. I want that to sink in. I want to absorb that. 

Mr. Bell. I might add that the foreign affairs element of the Na- 
tional Liberation Front, code named CP-72, was positioned only 90 
miles off the coast of Florida during the war, and their personnel 
worked closely with the Cuban government in manipulating the 
anti war movement here in the United States. 

Mr. DORNAN. That is a stunning statement. I thought I knew 
about Soviet trawlers tracking our carriers. I thought I knew some- 
thing about the Pueblo affair. I thought I knew something about 
men being beaten for 3 weeks in Korea during the Vietnam war, 
when pukey little traitors told them that they were giving the fin- 
ger, that it was not a Hawaiian greeting sign, the Pueblo crew, so 
they got them beaten. They called it Hell month. And I thought I 
knew something about how Col. Ted Gise, tortured, extracted con- 
fessions, showed up on posters outside of his base at Homestead in 
the seventies because he was trjdng to bring to court martial eight 
collaborators and traitors. 

I had no idea that the National Liberation Front, not the North 
Vietnamese Army out of Hanoi, had an intelligence ship in Cuban 
waters — or was it in our waters, Mr. Bell? 

Mr. Bell. This is an organization of the foreign affairs element 
on the ground in Cuba. 

Mr. DoRNAN. I see. You meant 90 miles on the ground in Cuba, 
manipulating the whole antiwar effort, here and worldwide. The 
Cubans, in other words, were a coordinating arm for the Kremlin? 

Mr. Bell. They were coordinating a worldwide movement at that 
time, but the National Liberation Front was represented in Cuba 
by CP-72, yes, sir. 

Mr. DORNAN. Thank you. Proceed. 

Mr. Bell. Many of the propaganda themes directed at influence 
groups here in our own country were developed from information 
gathered by CP-72 and the Cuban interrogation experts who were 
involved in exploiting American POW's held in Vietnam. 

For those of us who believe we have made far too many conces- 
sions in advance to Vietnam already, the time is long overdue for 
our analysts here to conduct the research necessary to fully under- 
stand the clandestine operations of the former Soviet Union, Cuba, 
and Vietnam vis-a-vis our POW's and MIA's, before upgrading or 
expanding the extant relationship. 

However, unless we remain both objective and determined, we 
will not find the answers we need. It has become common practice 
for our Government officials to make excuses for the Vietnamese, 
while making exaggerated claims of full faith or superb coopera- 

In analyzing some of the evidence indicating that we have not 
been given the truth by Vietnam, our officials tell us that these re- 
ports probably pertain to nationals of other countries, that the in- 
formation contained in the reports could have different meanings, 


that 217 might be 210, or 210 might be 210B, that 44 might refer 
to the 44th Battahon, the 44th mihtary station, or the 44th hos- 

What is important for this committee to understand, however, is 
that if the Vietnamese have failed to share with us the information 
and records necessary to resolve these reports, then who in their 
right mind can say that they are cooperating in full faith? I believe 
that this is one reason our Government has never requested Com- 
munist Party records from Vietnam, because the request would be 
refused and the lack of full faith cooperation would be obvious to 

We must remember that the mission of the proselytizing element 
in Vietnam is to gain the active support of a small segment of our 
population in order to achieve the passive acceptance of the major- 
ity of our population. The proselytizing element is very adept at ex- 
ploiting character defects in order to gain this active support, and 
greed certainly falls into this category. 

We must be cautious of claims of handsome profits to be made, 
fast-growing economies, and potential for investments. With every 
step forward in the normalization process, we come closer to the 
point of no return regarding an honest accounting for our men. If 
we allow ourselves to become passive, the small, active segment of 
our population will begin to establish front groups for trade and 
friendship. Our collective memory can tell us the outcome from 
such front groups because we have seen them operate in the past 
under the guise of peace and solidarity. 

Ultimately, the POW/MIA issue has become one of national char- 
acter. We have rationalized as to why we have maintained an em- 
bassy and an ambassador in China for over 18 years and now have 
more than a $50 billion trade deficit with China, even though there 
is no democracy or human rights in that country. We have rational- 
ized as to why we have maintained an embassy and ambassador 
in Moscow for over 50 years, even though we still do not have full 
cooperation in achieving an accounting for our men missing from 
the Korean and cold wars. 

After reflecting on this situation, and considering the fact that an 
American serviceman captured in Vietnam in 1972 at the age of 18 
would be only 42 years old today, how can we allow ourselves to 
once again rationalize in the same manner regarding Vietnam. 

This brings to mind just how angry respected CBS News cor- 
respondent Dan Rather was when he went to Vietnam just prior 
to the lifting of the trade embargo by President Clinton. Upon his 
return here to the United States, Mr. Rather described how a Com- 
munist party official in Hanoi said to him, point blank, "We know 
your President will lift the trade embargo, because Americans will 
do an3d;hing for money." It saddens me that this comment was ig- 
nored by those who did not see this comment made by a Vietnam- 
ese government official as an affront to our national character. 

Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the committee, we vet- 
erans of the Vietnam war beseech you to view this tragic issue as 
a matter of national character. We are so tired of hearing exagger- 
ated reports and promises which are never fulfilled. Please remind 
American officials going to Vietnam that they are there to rep- 
resent the best national interests of the United States, and that re- 


gardless of how they feel personally, they owe honest answers to 
the famihes of the POWs and MIA's. 

Our analysts must be objective and thorough in conducting the 
research necessary to uncover the truth. If American businessmen 
want to invest in Vietnam, let them do so, but at their own risk. 
If they expect the families to trust the Vietnamese with accounting 
for our Nation's heroes, then surely they can trust the Vietnamese 
with their money, and there is no need for OPIC or Export-Import 
Bank financing. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. DORNAN. Mr. Bell, I was impressed that you had the cour- 
tesy to sit all through Colonel Corso's testimony. He is extending 
you that courtesy and he is still with us. 

You took note that he talked about commercial interests driving 
our policy in the fifties. Here we go again. Even beyond whatever 
commercial policy, through what some people in the conspiracies 
like to call the establishment, in a study of the British Empire you 
will always see that, in their case, commerce followed the flag. In 
our case, we pulled the flag down and let commerce come in before 
the flag has been fully honored. 

Mr. Veith, Mr. Bell referred to you as George. Is Jay a nick- 

Mr. Veith. Yes. 

Mr. DoRNAN. What is your full name? 

Mr. Veith. George J. Veith. 

Mr. DORNAN. Please proceed with your statement, and then we'll 
get into questions. 



Mr. Veith. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Chairman Doman, committee members, and other distinguished 
guests, thank you once again for asking me to appear before your 
committee to discuss the POW/MIA issue. 

I wish today to concentrate on two areas. First, the use of special 
intelligence, oft;en called SIGINT, in resolving the fates of many 
Americans still missing in action from the conflict in Southeast 
Asia, and second, from my perspective as a private researcher, 
whether the accounting process is flawed. 

As you know, Mr. Chairman, in terms of special intelligence, Mr. 
Jerry Mooney, a long time NSA analyst responsible during the war 
for monitoring PAVN air defense communications, has often dis- 
cussed how he developed a large list of Americans who were cap- 
tured by the PAVN forces and who subsequently never returned 

Mr. DORNAN. I apologize, Mr. Veith, but I have to tell the coun- 
try, through television — there's still half the cameras with us, 
three, and I thank them — and the family members in the room, I 
was going to have Jerry Mooney sitting on your panel, or on a 
panel all by himself. 

Lo and behold, when the word went out that I was going to bring 
him here as a witness, two DPMO oflice people — that's Defense 
Missing in Action POW, and action is not in their acronym, but I 


noticed it today — they show up in Montana to interview him, just 
a couple of weeks ago. And they stayed several days. 

This comes dangerously close to tampering with witnesses, dan- 
gerously close, to any people from DPMO in the room, dangerously 
close. So I canceled him, because I want to go up to NSA with him 
and see the lady director of Ops, who has about 34 years with NSA, 
I want to test his memory against them. I want a closed session 
up there. I want out of them whether or not the documents and 
records he is speaking about, that you referred to, Mr. Veith, exist. 
Then I'll bring him in for testimony all by himself. 

Because what I'm told from NSA, the man has an unparalleled 
memory, an awfully good memory 

Mr. Veith. That's right. 

Mr. DORNAN. So I just wanted to put everybody on notice. I guess 
I'm enlisting my army, the only army I have — and that's the POW 
families from Korea, recently energized, and the tough fighters that 
are left from the Vietnam families — that's why Jerry Mooney is not 
here. I will take that slowly, and probably will not be able to do 
it until a hearing after the election. It looks like my race is tighten- 
ing up, so I want to have him here for a few days, at committee 
expense, and go up to NSA with him, with my senior staff, personal 
and committee staff. I just wanted everybody to know I have not 
forgotten about Jerry Mooney. 


Mr. Veith. Unfortunately, Mr. Mooney was unable to appear be- 
fore this committee, but since I have worked closely with Mr. 
Mooney on an almost daily basis for the past 10 months, he has 
asked me to speak for him and to share with you the results of 
both my research into this aspect of the issue, and just as impor- 
tantly, the knowledge of NSA systems and procedures he has so 
carefully taught me. 

To provide you with some background, I have reviewed every sin- 
gle SIGINT message and NSA memorandiun released by the Sen- 
ate Select Committee to the Library of Congress, which comprises 
thousands of wartime intercepts, along with all the various inter- 
nal NSA messages dealing with many facets of the issue. 

Additionally, I have gone through all the files of the investigators 
from the Senate Select Committee who worked with SIGINT mate- 
rial, and I have interviewed both Mr. Bob Taylor and Mr. Tom 
Lang, both of whom worked with Mr. Mooney and other NSA offi- 

Lastly, I have read every deposition and/or interview 

Mr. DORNAN. One more interruption. Jay. 

Would you recommend that, when I have Mooney here, that I re- 
quest or subpoena other people who worked with him contempora- 
neously to appear here? 

Mr. Veith. Yes, sir; definitely. I can give you their names and 
phone numbers. 

Mr. DoRNAN. In other words, it might be a whole NSA team. 
How many people do you think were on his team listening to all 
of the electronic traffic out of Indochina? 

Mr. Veith. There are three people I can tell you, off the bat, who 
I would recommend. You might have to ask him who he would rec- 
ommend beyond that. 


Mr. DORNAN. Right. So we could have a panel. I could ask Mr. 
Pickett to plead with my members to show up, so that we could go 
into closed session and have a good, old time here. Because, unlike 
the CIA, which is involved with so much HUMINT analysis, per- 
sonal perspective, NSA intelligence is raw data, when it first comes 
in, of the enemy's voices talking about our prisoners. 


Mr. Veith. That's correct. 

Lastly, I have read every deposition and/or interview of NSA em- 
ployees by the Select Committee. Consequently, I have shared ev- 
erything I found with Mr. Mooney, and we discussed this material 
and other items at great length over the last 10 months. Therefore, 
I would like to provide your committee with several very important 
results of that research that Jerry and I have been doing for the 
last 10 months. 

The first thing I want to discuss is the Government's portrayal 
of Mr. Mooney, only in an attempt to rectify some of the things 
that have been said about him in the past. In testimony before the 
Senate Select Committee on December 4, 1992, by the DIA's Lt. 
Paul Maguire, Lieutenant Maguire attempted to paint Mr. Mooney 
as making analytical mistakes in two separate areas in his assess- 
ment of whether Americans were captured. 

According to Lieutenant Maguire, Mr. Mooney only had access to 
a single source of intelligence, namely SIGINT, and second, be- 
cause he only had access to this source, and not the all-source in- 
telligence that DIA has, he therefore made errors in his correla- 
tions because he was unable to distinguish between multiple loss 

Mr. Chairman, both of these statements are so patently false 
that they appear to be crafted so as to damage limit Mr. Moone^s 
claims. Let me deal with the first point, that he only had access 
to a single intelligence source. 

Mr. Chairman, NSA collected during the war and analyzed an 
enormous amount of information about the PAVN into a tremen- 
dously effective technical and product data base which included not 
along with additional information collected by other non-U.S. intel- 
ligence agencies under third party agreements. The data base was 
so effective that NSA could predict PAVN responses and, just as 
importantly, NSA could follow their reporting on events down to 
the gun crew level, which provided NSA the ability to discern what 
was the truth and what was not. 

This data base enabled NSA 

Mr. DORNAN. Could you slow down for absorption purposes? We 
could listen down to the gun crew level? 

Mr. Veith. Correct. 

Mr. DORNAN. So we could have even heard Jane Fonda giggling 
in her gun pit, saying "Oh, it's one of ours," when an aircraft flew 
over, meaning a MiG. That's interesting. 

Go ahead. 

Mr. Veith. This data base enabled NSA to easily discriminate 
between the different message categories of what Jerry calls emu- 
lation. Hot B, and control-dummy traffic, versus information NSA 
initially judged to be reliable and which was then later confirmed. 


This data base was called the Central Reference files, or C-REF, 
and it had a sister computer data base called COINS, which has 
now been superseded by something called SOLIS. 

For example, in May 1970, U.S. forces captured a large cache of 
COSVN radio messages. From this, NSA created a study of the 
PAVN B-3 Front Rear Services Department. Additionally, if you 
look closely at any CDEC address list, it clearly states as one of 
the addresses DIRNSA — Director, NSA — for B-6, which was the 
section Mr. Mooney worked in. 

Lastly, also in 1970, ARVN forces captured some of the personnel 
who worked in the signal battalion for PAVN MR-5. Based on 
these interrogation reports, NSA published a study on the commu- 
nication procedures in this area. Therefore, we can clearly see that 
even the lowest levels of intelligence from the field reached both 
NSA and Mr. Mooney's shop. All of these NSA reports are cur- 
rently located in the Library of Congress. 

As for the second point, Mr. Mooney wants you to understand the 
difference between people who just read SIGINT and those who un- 
derstand SIGINT and work with it on a daily basis. Mr. Mooney 
calls this understanding both the art and the science of SIGINT. 
And let me provide you with an example. 

Let's say today that three F-4's are shot down, one in Hanoi, one 
in the DMZ, one in the Dien Bien Phu area. The one in Hanoi is 
shot down at 4 o'clock; the ones in Dien Bien Phu and the DMZ, 
shot down at 12 o'clock. In the middle of that, let's say at 2 o'clock, 
NSA intercepts a message, "we shot down one F-4 and captured 
the pilot." So you can immediately knock out the 4 o'clock aircraft 
because the message came before. 

But let's say the F-4 in Dien Bien Phu, the guys came back, and 
the guys at the DMZ didn't come back. DPMO has a tendency to 
take that message and automatically correlate it to the guys who 
came back. 

Mr. Mooney, in terms of the science of SIGINT, will look at 
where the collection element came from, discovered in our example 
here that it came from Phou Bie, and that the collection intercept 
could not reach Dien Bien Phu and, therefore, he would make that 
analysis to the F4 that's MIA. 

Mr. DORNAN. Since you're giving an example extemporaneously, 
let me analyze it. Because there's only two analyses that I can 
apply to that method, either it's criminal, or either stupidity, neg- 
ligence, or deliberately trying to debunk — and by the way, the rea- 
son I have reworked that word "debunk," my dad used to say to 
me, when I would give an excuse why I couldn't go to school, "that's 
a lot of bunk." Then there's bunco artists. "Biuik" means baloney, 
lie. So when you debunk something, you're uncovering that it's 

That's why I'm changing the term to a predisposition — because 
mindset is too cute — a predisposition to disrespect, discredit, then 

Now, the other thing could be — it still would be arrogant, but it 
wouldn't be criminal or negligent — to say, "oh, there must be some- 
thing wrong with NSA. This is probably a human error. They re- 
corded picking up this message traffic before the second F-4 was 


shot down, but it's contemporaneous and it's within an hour, so 
they probably meant this one. This is human error." 

I hope that would be the case. It's arrogant, but it's still a lot bet- 
ter than the other conclusions. 

Mr. Veith. I can't comment on how DPMO does their analysis, 
but Mr. Mooney took a look at the NSA correlation study that was 
produced for the Senate Select Committee and released by Senator 
Smith's office, and he was of the opinion that it seems DPMO was 
disregarding most of the NSA analysis correlations to particular 
shootdowns, and seemed to be matching them to a particular re- 
turnee who came back. 

Mr. DORNAN. Did you study what Jerry Mooney's testimony was 
like in closed and open session before the Senate? 

Mr. Veith. In open, I have thoroughly, sir, but obviously not in 
closed session. 

Mr. DORNAN. I have the closed and I'll be reading it tonight. 

Do you think he was treated the same way Colonel Corso and 
General Sejna were treated, over the objections of my friend, the 
heroic Bob Smith of New Hampshire? Did Mooney feel he was 
given short shrift? 

Mr. Veith. Well, personally, when he first went out there, he had 
great hopes. Mr. Tom Lang, from the Senate Select Committee, 
brought him back out several times and went out to interview NSA 

What appears to me happened, in reviewing the record, is that 
the Senate Select Committee viewed Mr. Mooney's testimony as 
credible until about April or May of that year, and all of a sudden 
it just kind of fell off the whole Earth. 

Mr. DORNAN. Of 1992? 

Mr. Veith. Of 1992. 

I haven't been able to put my finger on why it just kind of dis- 
appeared. I have asked this question of several people who were 
there, and they really can't answer it, either, other than there was 
just so many other things going on that it kind of fell through the 

Mr. DORNAN. I spoke to Senator Smith over the weekend, home 
to home. I asked him if he would come back and testify again, 
which he did a year and a half ago to kick off this series of hear- 

It's too bad we didn't have joint House/Senate hearings. It's too 
bad that Senator Smith wasn't in the majority, as he is now. But 
I'm going to bring him back over to testify again. Maybe I'll have 
him come over and introduce the panel with Jerry Mooney and 
other NSA people, in closed and open session, to see if we can get 
to why this fell off the face of the Earth, as you said, in the spring 
of 1992, because Clinton was elected on November 3 of that year 
and everything started to change. 

Go ahead, proceed. 

Mr. Veith. Lastly, Mr. Chairman, I want to discuss with you one 
of the most shocking items I uncovered in my research. Mr. Moon- 
ey has talked for years about an incident that occurred in the sum- 
mer of 1972 in which the NSA intercepted a PAVN communication 
that stated they were about to execute 10 Americans. I found that 
message in the Library of Congress files, and it was exactly as Mr. 


Mooney described it. But, as usual, DPMO states that the incident 
described by this intercept never occurred. Why? Because NSA, ac- 
cording to them, is just a passive collector of information, they have 
no way of knowing if information passed in PAVN comm channels 
is valid, and, well, it seems that DPMO just knows better. 

Let me provide three reasons why NSA thought this was a valid 
message — and if you have it there, you can look at it at the same 
time. First, the priority attached to the message is represented by 
the Z in the upper left comer. This represents flash priority, the 
highest level priority. It must go out right now. Second, this execu- 
tion message appears in the NSA Daily Summary, which I have 
also attached to my testimony, contains only the most important 
material and is sent to the highest consumers in the Government. 
Third, NSA requirements state that if they believe a message that 
they've put out is in error, they must issue a cancel message. No 
cancel message on this execution message exists in the Library of 
Congress files, nor, according to Mr. Mooney, was one ever issued. 
By the way, Mr. Mooney was the drafter of this message. 

Mr. Chairman, the contents of this message beg for a deeper ex- 
amination beyond the casual brushoff by DPMO. If accurate, they 
go to the very heart of whether Vietnam is cooperating and wheth- 
er the process is working. 

Special intelligence is very different from the more familiar world 
of human intelligence. It is more complex, often highly technical in 
nature. Because special intelligence is so unfamiliar to most people, 
the ability to penetrate through attempts at governmental decep- 
tion is made much more difficult. As a concerned citizen, I am ask- 
ing you and your committee to press DPMO and other govern- 
mental agencies to thoroughly examine this message and its rami- 

Mr. DoRNAN. Hold it right there, please, for one second, Jay. 

It's almost like there's a predisposition to discount anything that 
would put the Vietnamese in a bad light in their conduct of the 
war. But last night, in rereading — I start to spot read, but I find 
myself reading everything again — the 1976 book, POW, there was 
a young man held in one of those hell holes in the south, named 
"Weatherman". An interesting name, given what some of the radi- 
cals were doing in this country under the name "Weathermen", like 
breaking the back of a 6-foot-5 district attorney in Chicago in the 
days of rage. 

When Earl Weatherman escaped, he had crossed over, but he 
said not as a defector, but he had just opted out of the war. He was 
in the brig for some offense. But when they tried to use him and 
brainwash him, they had Garwood sometimes guard him in this 
camp, they lectured him that the struggle of the Vietnamese people 
has lasted 4,000 years and now the United States imperialists have 
come in and must be thrown out. 

Young Private First Class Weatherman says. The Vietnamese 
have been fighting all their hves. It's a civil war, and now the Com- 
munists are coming down, trying to take over the south, and the 
United States is going to kick their ass back up into North Viet- 


So the bristling Mr. Hahm, the Viet Cong in charge of the Ameri- 
cans poHtical development, would urge, "Look at Garwood, look at 
Bobby. He's a good example. You ought to be like him." 

"Weatherman became increasingly rebellious and disrespectful." 
And this is his real name, so his parents can read this. "His lib- 
erties were withdrawn. He was treated more like a prisoner. He 
began making the daylong hikes with the other Americans to gath- 
er maniok. He was on such a trip on April 1 when he overpowered 
a guard, took his rifle, and disappeared into the jungle with an- 
other American, hoping to make it to Cambodia. 

"Within 15 minutes, the guards had tracked down the two. 
Weatherman threw out his rifle and he and his companion emerged 
from the cover with their hands over their heads. The guard 
walked up to Pfc. Earl Weatherman, placed the barrel of his rifle 
between his eyes, and blew the young man's head away. 

"The other American, realizing that he, too, would be murdered, 
began running. The guard fired, the round went low, struck him 
in the leg. He went down, he writhed on the ground, the guard ap- 
proached him, lifting his rifle to complete a double execution. The 
other guard stopped it. The prisoner was beaten savagely and re- 
turned to the camp, tried before a kangaroo court and sentenced 
to 90 days in stocks. I do not think that other soldier survived; he 
later died." 

Now, the VFW Post in Hermosa Beach, CA, a district I used to 
represent, is named the Rocky Versace Post. I was there when his 
dad, a World War H veteran, a colonel, came. Rocky was a West 
Pointer. It was named VFW Post 2828, VFW Post Hermosa Beach, 
the Rocky Versace Post. We know Rocky Versace was executed, 
Kenneth Rhorabacher was executed. There were all sorts of execu- 

I consider it first degree murder to allow Glen Cobeil and James 
J. Connell and Ken Cameron to die and not return them, so there 
are plenty of examples of executions all the way throughout the 

I remember Charlton Heston narrating a film called "The Year 
of the Dragon," about the year 1967 when 10,000 village chieftains 
were executed, many of them decapitated and their heads put up 
on a stake, as though it were a priest with his head on a stake on 
London Bridge. I remember we showed it at the Writers Guild of 
America West, in West Hollywood, and the liberal writers all booed 
the Charlton Heston narration because their hearts had already 
been given to the communists in Hanoi. So just a little history. 

Go ahead. 

Mr. Veith. In summation of my remarks concerning special intel- 
ligence, I would like to provide you a quote from the book about 
the NSA called the Puzzle Palace by Mr. James Bamford. 

One of the people Mr. Bamford interviewed was a former NSA 
director, Lt. Gen. Marshall Carter. When asked about the ability 
of SIGINT versus other types of intelligence, Lieutenant General 
Carter remarked, "HUMINT is subject to all the mental aberra- 
tions of the source, as well as the interpreter of the source. SIGINT 
isn't. SIGINT has technical aberrations which give it away almost 
immediately if it does not have bona fides, if it is not legitimate. 
A good analyst can tell very, very quickly whether this is an at- 

38-526 - 97 


tempt at disinformation, at confusion, from SIGINT. It is better 
than HUMINT, it is more rapid than HUMINT as SIGINT is right 
now, its bona fides are there the minute you get it. 

Mr. DORNAN. Everybody at NSA is mihtary personnel? 

Mr. Veith. No, sir. 

Mr. DoRNAN. At the top? At the beginning, maybe it was. 

Mr. Veith. Well, there is a level there of military officers. 

Mr. DoRNAN. Jerry Mooney was what, an Air Force sergeant? 

Mr. Veith. He was Air Force. 

Mr. DORNAN. But the commander has always been a military 
three star? 

Mr. Veith. Yes, sir. 

Mr. DoRNAN. And, therefore, supposedly less politicized than 
Hollywood's concept of the CIA choice, always a confidant of what- 
ever President was in office? 

Mr. Veith. Bear in mind that DOD controls NSA. 

Mr. DoRNAN. Right. 

Mr. Veith. As a matter of fact, I have an e-mail from the legisla- 
tive assistant for NSA, Mr. Dan Klein, telling — I think it was Chief 
Gudein at the time — that they would no longer be allowed to com- 
municate directly with the Senate Select Committee because DOD 
was rather upset about the close cooperation between the Senate 
Select Committee and NSA. 

Mr. DORNAN. I'm sorry, but this is the apropos time to — and I 
can't think of a better one — to read the memo from General Clap- 
per, who was a three-star Air Force general in command of the De- 
fense Intelligence Agency from 1991 through 1995. Here is what he 
said at the end of a memo about intelligence reports on United 
States prisoners of war during the Korean war and his reaction to 
Czech defector General Sejna, who just testified. 

In paragraph one he discusses the drug experimentation on U.S. 
prisoners. In two he says the source was well placed and that he 
personally saw progress reports on the work in North Korea that 
were forwarded to the top leadership in the Czech Central Commit- 
tee and Ministry of Defense. Of course, this is now leaked out, and 
it was General Sejna. 

This is a three-star Air Force general, who I know to be an hon- 
orable man, that was very disgusted with some of the lack of fol- 
lowthrough by analysts at what was then a CIA predecessor group 
preceding DPMO. 

Just think of the people's right to know, through Senators and 
Congressmen, at least, in closed session. This is Gen. James R. 
Clapper, Jr., U.S. Air Force. 

"I have furnished the attached report to the Secretary and Dep- 
uty Secretary of Defense for their information. Normally, intel- 
ligence reports concerning American prisoners of war — " this would 
be Cheney he's sending this to " — are distributed within the Gov- 
ernment to military departments, the intelligence agencies, the De- 
partment of State, the temporary Senate Select Committee on 
POW/MLA Affairs, and the House POW/MIA Task Forc^" of 
which I have been a member all the years I've been here. It doesn't 
exist now because of this committee, because of myself, as chair- 
man, taking the portfolio here, where it never should have left 40 
years ago. 


General Clapper continues, 

However, as the attached inteUigence report could seriously impact ongoing for- 
eign policy activities of the U.S. Government, I await instructions on any further 
dissemination of the subject report. 

I have another comment where he says, if this were to be given 
to Congress, it could have foreign policy implications. So I'm going 
to ask Jim Clapper, who is retired from a great career, if he would 
come forward and tell us why he felt he had the right to do that, 
and why he thought it was necessary to do that, after people had 
dismissed General Sejna for all these years. 

Please proceed. 

Mr. Veith. In the other area of whether the process is working, 
as a private researcher who has spent vast amounts of time review- 
ing United States wartime POW/MIA material, I was appalled to 
learn that the United States Government had provided to the Viet- 
namese two sets of documentation that I believe have seriously 
eroded our ability to conduct impartial investigations. 

First, in late 1993, we gave the Vietnamese a complete copy of 
the 954 microfilm rolls from the wartime Combined Document Ex- 
ploitation Center, known as CDEC. This microfilm set contains 
captured Vietnamese documents and their English translations and 
was given to the Vietnamese under the guise of helping them lo- 
cate their own MIA's from the war. 

What is so distressing about this decision is that the microfilm 
also contains most of the wartime HUMINT interrogation reports 
from the war in completely unredacted format. We are constantly 
reminded by the intelligence community of the need to protect 
sources, yet here we provided to the Vietnamese the names and 
background on almost all the individuals who gave information to 
us during the war. 

To clarify this, any potential Brightlight report from the war that 
we are now using to determine the fate of any individual is now 
also being read and studied by the Vietnamese. 

For instance, in April of this year, an alternate Politburo member 
was put under house arrest for "actions detrimental to the Revolu- 
tion during the anti-American war." This individual had been cap- 
tured during the war, and Mr. Bell and I suspect the Vietnamese 
Security Forces ran across his interrogation report in the CDEC 

To further muddy the waters of an honest accounting effort, the 
United States Government has also provided to the Vietnamese a 
streamlined version of what is known as the Brightlight data base. 
This is a computer data base of all the missing in action from the 
war and contains all the casualty records on it. The data base was 
streamlined in the sense that most of the wartime intelligence was 
taken out. Since that initial turnover, the JTF-FA has updated the 
data base twice and also has provided a Vietnamese language ver- 
sion of this computer data base to each of the Vietnamese province 

Mr. Chairman, I ask you how our Government can conduct an 
honest accounting effort for our missing soldiers and civilians if the 
Vietnamese already have a great deal of the intelligence that oiu* 
own Government possesses. I am not familiar with any style of in- 
vestigation where one provides to the suspect the evidence against 


him beforehand, unless, of course, one believes the Vietnamese are, 
indeed, cooperating superbly and are hiding nothing from us. 

Mr. DORNAN. That, again, is one of the principal complaints of 
the families, that the Communist government in Hanoi was given 
deeper briefing information than the families themselves were 
given on their sons, husbands, brothers, and dads. It just seems 
unconscionable. It's been a mystery to me for 20 years. 

Mr. Veith. Even in the best environment, given the long record 
of Vietnamese intransigence on this issue, if I was a family mem- 
ber, I would find this difficult to accept. Perhaps you can request 
from DPMO whether the Vietnamese having much of our wartime 
HUMINT has any impact on the accounting effort. 

Last, Mr. Chairman, I would like to remind you of the statement 
I made to you in June, that many of the answers are at the NSA. 
In that vein, Mr. Mooney has asked me to privately provide you 
and this committee something he believes you will find of great im- 
portance. This is not a smoking gun, per se, but it is an excellent 
starting point to begin researching whether American POWs were 
transferred to the Soviet Union. 

Mr. Mooney has authorized me to tell you the code systems, fre- 
quencies, and aircraft tail numbers and call signs for the movement 
of all POW's from all wars by Soviet missile range head aircraft to 
the Soviet missile test sites as reflected in NSA product reports. 

In addition, Mr. Mooney has provided to me the NSA electronic 
systems where this material is located, the process by which it was 
transferred to NSA, and the intercept sites involved, so that your 
office can easily retrieve this material. 

Mr. DORNAN. I'm going to look forward to getting that. I am also 
going to look forward to getting from DPMO their interrogation — 
interrogation is too strong a word, I hope, and I haven't talked to 
Mr. Mooney — their interviews over several days a few weeks ago, 
which I repeat came dangerously close to tampering with a witness 
before a congressional subcommittee. 

Mr. Veith. Let me address that in the last seconds here, sir. 

I forewarn you, however, that this is a very large body of mate- 
rial that will require much anal5rtical time and effort. Again, it is 
an excellent starting point, and I do not wish to overhype it, but 
there are the code systems involved for your office. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Veith follows:] 


Testimony by George J. Veitb before the House Military Penonnel Subcommittee on 
September 17tb. 1996. 

Chairman Doman, Commirtee members and other distinguished guests, thank you once again for 
asking me to appear before your Committee to discjss the POW/MIA issue I wish today to 
concentrate on two areas. First, the use of Special Intelligence, often called SIGINT, in resolving 
the fates of many Americans still Missing in Action from the conflict in Southeast Asia, and 
second, from my perspeaive as a private researcher, whether the accounting process is flawed. 

As you know Mr. Chairman, in terms of Special IntelligeiKe, Mr. Jerry Mooney, a long time NSA 
analyst responsible during the war for monitoring PAVN Air Defense communications, has often 
discussed how he developed a large list of Americans who were captured by the PAVN forces, 
and who subsequently never returned home Unfor:unateIy, Mr. Mooney was unable to appear 
before this Committee, but since I have worked closely with Mr Mooney on an almost daily basis 
for the past ten months, he has asked me to speak fur him, and to share with you the results of 
both my research into this aspea of the issue and. just as importantly, the knowledge of NSA 
systems and procedures he has so carefully taught nie. 

To provide you with some background, I have reviewed every single SIGINT message and NSA 
memorandum released to the Library of Congress 0-OC), which comprises thousands of wartime 
intercepts, along with various internal NSA messag«:s dealing with many facets of the issue 
Additionally, I have gone through all the files of the investigators from the Senate Select 
Coirunittee who worked with SIGINT material, and I have interviewed both Mr. Bob Taylor and 
Mr. Tom Lang, both of whom worked with Mr Mconey and other NSA individuals. Lastly, I 
have read every deposition and/or interview of NSA employees by the Select Committee. 
Consequently, I have shared everything I found witli Mr. Mooney, and we discussed this material 
and other items at great length over the last ten morths. Therefore, I would like to provide your 
Committee with several very imponant results of that research. 

The first thing I want to discuss is the govenunent's ponrayal of Mr. Mooney In testimony 
before the Select Committee on Dec 4th, 1992, by the DIA's Lt. Paul Maguire, Lt. Maguire 
attempted to paint Mr. Mooney as making analytica mistakes in two separate areas in his 
assessment of whether Americans were captured .According to DIA, Mr Mooney only had 
access to a single source of intelligence, namely SIGINT, and second, because he only had access 
to this source, and not the all-source that DIA has, lie made errors in correlations because he was 
unable to distinguish between multiple loss incidents. Mr. Chairman, both of these statements are 
so patently false that they appear to be crafted so as to damage limit Mr. Mooney's claims. Let us 
deal with the first point, that he only had access to a single intelligence source. 

Mr. Chairman, NSA collected and analyzed an enormous amount of information about the PAVN 
into a tremendously effective technical and product database, which included not only SIGINT, 
but HUMINT, ELINT. RADINT, and PHOTENT, along with additional information collected by 
other non-U. S. intelligence agencies under Third Paity Agreements. This database was so 
effeaive that NSA could predia PAVN responses, <ind just as importantly, NSA could follow 
their reporting on events down to the gun crew level, which provided NSA the ability to discern 


what was the truth, and what was not. This database enabled NSA to easily discriminate between 
the different message categories of Emulation, "HDt B," and Control/Dummy Traffic, versus 
information NSA initially judged to be reliable, and which was then later confirmed This 
database was called the Central Reference files, or C/REF, and it had a sister computer database 
called COINS. For example, in May 1970, US foixcs captured a large cache of COSVN radio 
messages. From this, NSA created a study of the PAVN B-3 Front Rear Services Department. 
Additionally, if you look closely at any CDEC adciress list, it clearly states as one of the addresses. 
"DIRNSA for B-6," which was the section Mr. Mooney worked in. Lastly, also in 1970, ARVN 
forces captured some of the personnel who worked in the Signal Battalion for PAVN MR-5. 
Based on the interrogation reports, NSA publishe<l a study on the communication procedures in 
this area. Therefore, we can clearly see that even the lowest levels of intelligence reached both 
NSA and Mr. Mooney's shop. All of these NSA reports are currently located in the LOC. 

As for the second point, Mr. Mooney wants you to understand the difference between people who 
just read SIGINT, and those who understand SIGINT and work with it on a daily basis. Mr 
Mooney calls this understanding both the Art and the Science of SIGINT. Let me give you 
another example. (Example) 

Lastly, Mr. Chairman, I want to discuss with you one of the most shocking items I uncovered in 
my research. Mr. Mooney has talked for years about an incident that occurred in the summer of 
1972 in which the NSA intercepted a PAVN comnunication that stated they were about to 
execute ten Americans. I found that message in the LOC files, and it was exactly as Mr Mooney 
described it. But, as usual, DPMO states that the incident described by this intercept never 
occurred. Why, because, NSA is just a passive ccUector of information, they have no way of 
knowing if information passed in PAVN comm channels is valid, and well, DPMO just knows 

Let me provide three reasons why NSA thought tliis was a valid message. First, the priority 
attached to the message as represented by the "TT in the upper left comer. This represents 
"Flash" priority, the highest level. Second, this execution message appears in the NSA Daily 
Summary, which contains only the most imponant material and is sent to the highest consumers in 
the government. Third, NSA requirements are thit if they believe the message is in error, they 
issue a "Cancel" message. No "Cancel" message exists in the LOC files, nor according to Mr. 
Mooney, was one ever issued. By the way, Mr. Mooney was the drafler of this message. 

Mr. Chairman, the contents of this message beg for a deeper examination beyond the casual 
brush-off by DPMO. If accurate, they go to the very heart of whether Vietnam is cooperating and 
whether the process is working. Special Intelligence is very different fi'om the more familiar 
worid of Human Intelligence. It is more complex, often highly technical in nature Because 
Special Intelligence is so unfamlUar to most people, the ability to penetrate through attempts at 
Governmental deception is made much more difficult. As a concerned citi2en, I am asking you 
and your Committee to press DPMO and other Governmental agencies to thoroughly examine 
this message and its ramifications. 

In summation of my remarks concerning Special Intelligence, I would like to provide you a quote 


from the book about the NSA called the "Puzzle Palace" by Mr. James Bamford. One of the 
people Mr Bamford interviewed was a former N5 A director, LTG Marshal! Carter When asked 
about the ability of SIGINT vs other types of intelligence, LTG Carter remarked, "HUMINT is 
subject to all the mental aberrations of the source ts well as the interpreter of the source SIGINT 
isn't. SIGINT has technical aberrations which give it away almost immediately if it does not have 
bona fides, if it is not legitimate A good analyst cm tell very, very quickly whether this is an 
attempt at disinformation, at confusion, from SIGINT It is better than HUMINT, it is more rapid 
that HUMINT {but} SIGINT is right now; its bom fides are there the minute you get it " 

In the other area of whether the process is working, as a private researcher who has spent vast 
amounts of time reviewing US wartime POW/MIA material, I was appalled to learn that the 
U.S. govenunent had provided to the Vietnamese two sets of documentation that I believe have 
seriously eroded our ability to conduct impartial investigations. First, in late 1993 we gave the 
Vietnamese a complete copy of the 9S4 microfilm rolls from the wartime Combined Document 
Exploitation Center, known as CDEC This microfilm set contains captured Vietnamese 
documents and their English translations and was jpven to the Vietnamese under the guise of 
helping them locate their own MIA's firom the war What is so distressing about this decision is 
that the microfilm also contains most of the wartime HUMINT interrogation reports from the war 
in completely unredacted format. We are constantly reminded by the intelligence community of 
the need to protect sources, yet here we provided :o the Vietnamese the names and background 
en almost all of the individuals who gave information to us during the war To clarify this, any 
"Brightlight" report from the war that we are usinfj to determine the fate of any individual is now 
also being read and studied by the Vietnamese. For instance, in April of this year, an alternate 
Politburo member was put under house arrest for "actions detrimental to the Revolution during 
the anti-American war." This individual had been captured during the war, and Mr Bell and I 
suspect that the Vietnamese Security Services ran across his interrogation report in the CDEC 

To fijrther muddy the waters of an honest accounting effort, the US. government has also 
provided to the Vietnamese a streamlined version Df what is known as the "Brightlight" database. 
This is a computer database of all the Missing in Action from the war and contains all the casualty 
records on it. The database was "streamlined" in the sense that most of the wartime intelligence 
was taken out. Since that initial turnover, the JTF-FA was updated the database twice, and also 
provided a Vietnamese language version to each of the Vietnamese Province leaders 

Mr. Chainnan, I ask you how our Government can conduct an honest accounting effort for our 
missing soldiers and civilians if the Vietnamese already have a great deal of the intelligence that 
our own Government possesses. I am not fiuniliar with any style of investigation where one 
provides to the suspect the evidence against them seforehand, unless of course one believes that 
the Vietnamese are indeed cooperating superbly and are hiding nothing from us Even in the best 
environment, given the long record of Vietnamese intransigence on this issue, if I was a family 
member, I would find this difficult to accept Perhaps you can request from DPMO whether the 
Vietnamese having much of our wartime HUMINT has any impact on the accounting effort. 

Lastly Mr. Chairman, I would like to remind you of the statement I made to you in June, that 


many of the answers are at the NSA. In that vein, lAi. Mooney has asked me to privately provide 
you and this Committee something he believes you will find of great importance This is not a 
"Smoking gun" per se, but is a excellent starting point to begin researching whether American 
POWs were transferred to the Soviet Union. Mr. Mooney has authorized me to tell you the code 
systems, frequencies, and aircraft tail numbers and tall signs for the movement of all POWs from 
all wars by Soviet Missile Range head aircraft to thn Soviet missile test sites as reflected in NSA 
product reports. In addition, Mr. Mooney has provided to me the NSA electronic systems where 
this material is located, the process by which it was transferred to NSA, and the intercept sites 
involved so that your office can easily retrieve this material. I forewarn you, however, that this is 
a very large body of material that will require much analytical time and effort Again, it is an 
excellent starting point and I do not wish to overhy|>e it. 

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Mr. Veith. Let me comment just briefly in terms of DPMO going 
out to see Mr. Mooney. 

That was a process that I had been working on for several 
months. Whether or not DPMO had decided to all of a sudden go 
out and see him right now because of the hearing, I can't answer. 
You would have to ask them for that. But I can't sit here and say 
it was some kind of evil thing to circumvent the witness. I was in- 
volved with 

Mr. DORNAN. You were pressing them to go interview him? 

Mr. Veith. Yes, sir, in defense of DPMO. 

Also understand that the meeting that was held in Billings was 
designed more as a get-together meeting, a rapport-building meet- 
ing, where Jerry would do an advise and consent. They listened, he 
would speak, tell them what he knew, in the hope that they would 
then go back and discuss what they had talked about, and agree 
to bring him to Washington for a more thorough debriefing. 

Mr. DORNAN. That is excellent. I'm happy to hear that. By na- 
ture, I reject conspiracies, so I'm really pleased to hear that. 

Let me start with Mr. Bell. You have a pad and pencil there. Jay, 
so take notes in case you want to comment on any of this. 

Mr. Bell, in 1973, you participated in Operation Homecoming. It 
was a tear-jerking operation. Colonel Corso participated in it first- 
hand, interviewing men, and the big switch and then the little 
switch, from April to September, 1953. So here, 20 years later, 
we're doing it all over again in 1973. 

At that time, was it your understanding that both sides had re- 
leased all the prisoners taken throughout Vietnam, North and 
South, and throughout Laos? 

Mr. Bell. The problem we had at that time, Mr. Chairman, was 
that we didn't know the fate of men who were still unaccounted for 
and believed to be alive, or last known to be alive. We knew the 
men that were on the list that they gave us in Paris that they were 
going to release. The only exception to that list that I recall was 
Capt. Robert White, who was released just after Homecoming, I 
think early April. 

Actually, we came to the conclusion that the head of the Viet- 
namese delegation purposely withheld Robert White in order for 
him to get a C-130 aircraft to leave South Vietnam and go back 
to the North to begin planning on the attack that was to take place 
in 1975. In other words, that was his way out of the Communist 
delegation to the peace process. He used that as a ruse for him to 
go back and arrange the release of one more POW. So we provided 
him with an aircraft. 

Subsequent to that, I found out that we had not released all the 
Vietnamese prisoners, the Communist prisoners, because approxi- 
mately 200 Communist prisoners were still being held in South 
Vietnam, including some of their highest level security cadres and 
so forth. I know Mr. Frank Snepp mentioned some of these people, 
including the highest ranking prisoner that we ever captured in the 
South, in his book "Decent Interval." In that book he described 
where the individual was dumped into the sea or whatever, but I 
think he was trying to provide cover for the man because he did 
go back to North Vietnam and assume his duties. He was still in 


the cell being held prisoner when Soviet tanks rolled into Saigon 
in April, 1975. 

The situation in Laos was much the same as Vietnam. We had 
a large number of cases — I think the total number of cases 
throughout Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia was over 300 men that 
we knew were alive the last we knew about them and had no real 
reason to think that they were dead. 

Mr. DORNAN. After that period, 1973 and 1974, as a Defense De- 
partment investigator in Asia on our POW's and missing, when you 
came to Washington for briefings, what type of assessment did the 
Defense Department give you regarding Vietnam's level of coopera- 
tion in accounting for our men? 

Mr. Bell. The assessment that we received was that the Viet- 
namese were not being very cooperative, because the general feel- 
ing was that they had extensive records — you know, some of this 
information came out of the debriefing of the defecting mortician, 
who described how he processed and stored remains, to be doled 
out at specific intervals. 

Also, the DL\ briefings that the specialist gave us indicated that 
most of the reports we were receiving on dog tags and remains and 
so forth, those were orchestrated by the Ministry of the Interior, 
the intelligence and security services of Vietnam. They, in fact, had 
extensive charts on the wall to show how one report of remains or 
a dog tag might be related to another report. They went so far as 
to take the photocopies of dog tags and remains, bone fragments 
and so forth, and compare them to see which machine in Saigon 
had actually been used to photocopy the documents and so forth. 
So it was pretty well determined at that time that the Vietnamese 
Ministry of the Interior was behind much of the reporting coming 
out of there. 

Mr. DoRNAN. When you first began the post-war field ops on the 
ground, what was the general attitude of the Vietnamese officials, 
the Communist officials? 

Mr. Bell. The general attitude was, you tell us everything you 
know about this case, and we won't tell you an3rthing. We'll give 
you the information back and we'll return remains, as long as you 
keep pa3ring to do these field activities. 

It went from that — when we showed some determination, the in- 
vestigations at one point began to get real, but there were still 
signs that the Vietnamese were not cooperating, because we had 
indications of manipulation. 

Mr. DoRNAN. To whom did the Vietnamese make the comment 
"Your country will do anything for money"? 

Mr. Bell. Dan Rather, sir. 

Mr. DORNAN. Did you have access to reports or studies encom- 
passing intelligence from all the U.S. agencies, so that you could 
be prepared and the other investigators would be prepared for any 
investigation involving Americans last known alive, the discrep- 
ancy cases? 

Mr. Bell. In many cases we would not know where the informa- 
tion came from. The information came to us in the field through 
the headquarters in Hawaii. That's where it was consolidated. Most 
of the reports that weren't in the initial case file would be called 


subsequent information reports. Later on, we began to get some in- 
formation from NSA. 

I think the biggest shortcoming we had in the field doing field 
investigations was the fact that the Central Identification Labora- 
tory did not give us the forensic analysis of the remains to use in 
the course of our investigations. Nor did we have much information 
on Soviet and Cuban activities during the war, and I think that 
could have been very important. 

Mr. DORNAN. It's interesting that that right now is public law, 
that someone trained in forensic science has to make a determina- 
tion of remains. If Clinton signs the authorization bill that comes 
out — we had a hearing last week putting it back in — at the moment 
it comes out, H.R. 4000, sponsored by about 275 Members, we're 
going to find out. 

Mr. Pickett, let me ask two more questions and then I'll turn it 
over to you, and then I have a few more here. 

When you traveled to Vietnam to do the investigations, did you 
provide the Vietnamese with any information on cases? 

Mr. Bell. What we used, during the time I was in charge of the 
investigations, we gave the Vietnamese just a brief narrative, just 
a general outline of where the case occurred. We used the small 
Federal Government issue pocket notebooks, the green ones, that 
you can put inside your pocket, and we reduced the cases down to 
that size, inserted them in each one of those pages, and we had one 
of those notebooks for each case. That way, we could keep it on our 
person at all times and the Vietnamese would never be able to get 
access to it. 

Mr. DoRNAN. It was 1991 when you were assigned as chief of 
that office, right? 

Mr. Bell. Yes, sir. 

Mr. DoRNAN. Were you satisfied that the office building was the 
proper place to conduct important official U.S. Government busi- 
ness? And what is the Boss Hotel? 

Mr. Bell. Initially we started ofi" in what was called the govern- 
ment guest house. We had reports there — as a matter of fact, some 
of the trips that I was on, where we had a security specialist go 
along, he found numerous hot spots all throughout the hotel. We 
knew from defectors that the rooms were bugged, and we knew 
where the wires led to, who was monitoring the wires back to the 
area of the AmericanA^ietnam Friendship Association. 

The Boss Hotel, after we were moved in 

Mr. DORNAN. That's where their best English language speakers 

Mr. Bell. Yes, sir. 

We had to rent a storage closet upstairs in the hotel to put our 
drinking water in, and the keys to our rooms were different from 
this one storage cabinet key, or closet key, which was an older key. 
Some of the paint was missing from the key, and we scraped a lit- 
tle of that paint off and beneath the paint, instead of Boss Hotel, 
it said Public Security Guest House. 

Then we began to inquire around, and some of our allies, I think 
the British and Australians, they were amazed that we would posi- 
tion our office in the Public Security Guest House, belonging to the 
Ministry of the Interior. But we didn't realize that until it was too 


late. That's where the Vietnamese guided us into. The employees 
inside the hotel were all intelligence and security services — I mean, 
the ones that dumped our files every night, the ones that came in 
and cleaned our computers and our databases and so forth. So it 
was a given from the very outset that we had been deceived in that 
regard. I did complain to the Vietnamese about that. 

Mr. DORNAN. Mr. Gamett Bell, in all my dealings with you — you 
appear to be a man of high honor, so I ask you this question only 
because of my difficult position here. 

When you returned to Washington to testify before the Senate 
Select Committee, in November 1991, were you coached by the De- 
partment of Defense on how to answer congressional questions? 

Mr. Bell. Back at that time they had what was called "murder 
boards", where people would go and discuss the questions. I think 
that's pretty well the general practice everywhere. But in this par- 
ticular case, when 

Mr. DoRNAN. At DPMO they call it the "corporate board", who 
conducts the "murder board." 

Mr. Bell. In this case, I think they went a little too far, because 
myself and others were taken into a room and given a list of the 
questions — which we appreciated — that would perhaps prepare us. 
But what we really were dismayed about in this instance is that 
we were given answers to each question. 

No one came right out and said "you must use these answers", 
but when you have a superior and your chain of command, the day 
prior to a hearing, say "here is the questions we anticipate, and 
here are the answers to those questions", it's a safe assumption 
that that individual desires that you use those answers. 

I think this happened to quite a number of people who testified 
at that time. 

Mr. DORNAN. I want to ask just one more question right now and 
then turn it over to Mr. Pickett. 

At that session, did you testify that, in your opinion, some Amer- 
icans remained in Vietnam after 1973's Operation Homecoming? 

Mr. Bell. Yes, sir, I did. 

Mr. DORNAN. Thank you. 

Mr. Pickett. 

Mr. Pickett. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank our wit- 
nesses for their testimony today. 

Mr. Bell, you were here several months ago and gave us some 
information, and my recollection is that at that time you maybe ex- 
pressed the view that the United States had done about all it could 
do with the information that we had in our files, and if much 
progress was going to be made, then the data was going to have 
to come from the Vietnamese. 

Did I get the right impression from your thoughts on that? 

Mr. Bell. Yes, sir. But I can caveat that with one more com- 
ment. I've never really been confident that we have all the informa- 
tion from the U.S. Government files, because what we hear is vir- 
tually all the information that's been declassified. It would vir- 
tually depend upon your interpretation. It could be 51 percent or 
it could be 99 percent. Certainly it's not all. You could say virtually 


The important thing to me is the analysts who analyze the over- 
all process, as well as the field investigators on the ground, those 
are the people who need the information. If we have exhausted all 
of our information, then only the information in the hands of com- 
munist countries could now help us. 

At the same time, though, I believe there are large volumes of 
uncorrelated reports — and I mentioned this before — in our files, 
where they're not correlated to any specific individual. Many of 
those reports have a great deal of information, and with just a lit- 
tle more work, they could be correlated to an individual and pro- 
vide us with the answers we need. 

In the case of Vietnam, where we had a source of information 
back in 1968 and he gave us an inadequate amount of information, 
if we could just meet with him another 30 minutes, it might lead 
to a correlation on the case. I can't see any reason why we cannot 
do that. If peace is really at hand and the Vietnamese are fully co- 
operating and so forth, we should be able to go back and revisit 
with those people who gave us information, but not quite enough 
information, to correlate. 

Mr. Pickett. I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, but it's 
probably quicker to get to the issue. 

Is it still your view that the Vietnamese have data available that 
they can turn over to us that they are withholding, and if they 
would turn that data over, we could speed up the process and close 
a lot of the cases that are presently pending? 

Mr. Bell. I think the Vietnamese have a great deal of informa- 
tion. They're fanatical about record keeping. I know our Govern- 
ment has made claims about 30 to 40,000 documents — I can't recall 
what the exact number is now, but I know that just over or only 
1 percent of all those documents have anything to do with POWs 
and MIA's. Most of them are propaganda and so forth. 

But we've been into the museums and archives. We see how or- 
ganized they are. We followed that very closely during the war. The 
documents we have from the Captured Document Exploitation Cen- 
ter that we brought here to the United States for research are just 
a good representative sample of what we didn't capture. 

If the Vietnamese would only make the political decision to begin 
cooperating fully, I think we could get some more information from 
them. In the meantime, we've made a grave error by falling into 
the same rut left by the French MIA recovery teams, in that we 
began to pay these large amounts of cash into a bank account in 
Hanoi, and the same problem there is like we had in Panama with 
Manuel Noriega or whatever country we've done this with in the 
past. Whenever we work the Vietnamese in the field all day, 
digging in a crater to recover an aircraft and pay them $1.75, and 
we're paying the Communist party $30 a day, by putting those mil- 
lions of dollars every year in cash into the pockets of only a few 
generals or Communist party elite, that 

Mr. DORNAN. The $1.75 is for our personnel? 

Mr. Bell. Yes, sir. That takes their incentive away from them 
to really move forward. The people out in the country, the farmers, 
the construction workers, these are the people that continue to suf- 
fer while this goes on, while onl}' just a small few political elites 


in Hanoi derive the benefit from our national Treasury. I think this 
was a big error. 

Mr. DORNAN. Are you aware that — if I could, Mr. Pickett, for just 
a second — that at the request of this subcommittee chairman, and 
Chairman Ben Oilman of the International Relations Committee, 
the Defense Department IG has a team over there right now inves- 
tigating this allocation of money. 

Go ahead, Mr. Pickett. 

Mr. Pickett. Just to follow up with Mr. Veith, you've been doing 
a lot of research in this area. How do you feel about this same set 
of circumstances that I asked Mr. Bell about? Do you think that 
we've exhausted the data that we can get from United States 
records and we must look largely to the Vietnamese records to pro- 
ceed much further? 

Mr. Veith. I don't think we've exhausted U.S. records in one 
area, and that's the National Security Agency. 

Mr. Pickett. And you gave us some data on that today. 

Mr. Veith. Yes, sir. 

In terms of what the Vietnamese can turn over to us, I pulled 
literally dozens of captured documents that we captured during the 
war that talk about their policy. They are almost unanimous in 
talking about carefully recording the circumstances of prisoners 
captured, their death, their locations, and a host of other issues. 

As an example as to why I believe we can get more from the Vi- 
etnamese, during the last National League of Families meeting, an- 
alysts from DPMO briefed the National League and said the only 
documents they had gotten out of South Vietnam were essentially 
the Died in Captivity list, which we received in 1973, and some- 
thing else that I can't remember off the top of my head. 

Then with all the oral history done with the Vietnamese since 
that time, they continually remark about how they couldn't keep 
documents in the general environment, that the war was very 
fierce, that whatever they had they burned or was destroyed in B- 
52 strikes. 

I submit, if that was true, then why are there 954 rolls of cap- 
tured documents that we captured from them sitting down in our 
National Archives, which bear in mind only represents 10 percent 
of what we consider to actually have intelligence value. We cap- 
tured literally millions of documents out of South Vietnam, which 
is where our combat forces were the majority of the time. Yet now 
we're told they have nothing there, that they couldn't keep records 
in a jungle environment, et cetera, et cetera. So I think those two 
facts speak for themselves. 

Mr. Pickett. Thank you, and thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. DoRNAN. Thank you, Mr. Pickett. 

The last question I asked you, Mr. Bell, was did you testify that, 
in your opinion, American prisoners remain, and your answer was 
"yes, sir, I did." 

Well, after the closed session part of your testimony, then, in No- 
vember 1991, what was the response of DOD and the Pacific Com- 
mand to your testimony? 

Mr. Bell. After that testimony, after that hearing, I was asked 
to write a response in more detail, as to the information that I had 
provided, even though there was a representative from DOD sitting 


in on the closed session, which I did accomplish. That is prior to 
the time when I was replaced in my job. 

Mr. DORNAN. That cost you your job, testifying frankly to a 
closed Senate Committee hearing? 

Mr. Bell. I think — the Vietnamese went to my superiors just be- 
fore I testified, in my presence, and what they said to my superiors 
was that we are very concerned about what Mr. Bell will say 

Mr. DoRNAN. This is in Hanoi? 

Mr. Bell. Yes, sir. This was during one of the technical meetings 
that we had. 

Mr. DoRNAN. That's outrageous. 

Mr. Bell. They went to my superior, who now works in the 
DPMO, and they said we're concerned about what Bell will say at 
the congressional hearing. This was in my presence. 

This was one way that I felt they were trying to intimidate me. 
This was not uncommon. They did this quite often, and I'm sure 
they've done similar things with other people. 

Mr. DORNAN. What was their reaction after you testified? 

Mr. Bell. After I testified, they — first of all, they denied me a 
visa to reenter Vietnam and assume my duties. 

Mr. DORNAN. Now it's coming back to me. I did know that. 

Mr. Bell. Finally, they did, but by that time I think they had 
reached an agreement with my employer, that I would not be there 

Mr. DORNAN. Who were your superiors in Hanoi, may I ask? How 
many were there? 

Mr. Bell. At that time it was the Joint Casualty Resolution Cen- 
ter, which belonged to CINCPAC. 

Mr. DORNAN. So the office had opened up with one person, you. 
Did you have a secretary? 

Mr. Bell. Actually, we had several people there, actually two in 
the beginning. 

Mr. DoRNAN. And it built up? 

Mr. Bell. It built from two to I think seven or eight, at the time 
this new task force was formed. 

Mr. DoRNAN. Was Joe Harvey one of your joint 

Mr. Bell. He was the commander of the Joint Casualty Resolu- 
tion Center at that time, but he was superseded by General Need- 

Mr. DoRNAN. I didn't ask him to testify today, but I sure want 
to hear from Mr. Havey on this. 

Who else was there besides Joe Harvey? 

Mr. Bell. Mr. Destatte was in Hanoi at that time. Mr. Destatte 
and I were the first two individuals up there. That was May 1991. 

Mr. DoRNAN. Did you go in together initially? 

Mr. Bell. Yes, sir. We stayed behind afi;er one of the technical 
meetings and remained there to open an office. 

Mr. DORNAN. And you're both Vietnamese language specialists. 

Mr. Bell. Yes, sir. 

Mr. DORNAN. When was the POW/MIA office relocated to a more 
permanent site? And I just wonder, this Boss name, was that their 
foolish translation for VIP, or was Boss an acronym, the placard 
they put over the guest house? 


Mr. Bell. We never were able to figure that out. It had some- 
thing to do with oil and gas exploration services. 

Mr. DORNAN. So it probably was some kind of an acronym. 

When was it moved to a more permanent site in Hanoi? 

Mr. Bell. I believe August 1993 is when the office was moved. 

Mr. DORNAN. Who did the construction? 

Mr. Bell. The Vietnamese did the construction. 

Mr. DORNAN. Keep in mind that scene on the U.N. floor, of the 
big eagle gift behind the Ambassador 

Mr. Bell. I had asked for an American to come over, what I 
called a site support specialist, to come in and do the repairs, some- 
one who had worked previously for the Department of Interior in 
restoring old buildings and so forth, because that's what we ended 
up with, old French buildings. 

Mr. DORNAN. Having walked through, in Moscow, for several 
hours, the wiring, wiring doesn't even do justice to how they set up 
the listening devices in the new United States Embassy that is still 
vacant, I guess, to this day, eight stories high or something. They 
would take a whole metal doorway and turn it into a listening de- 
vice, so there would be no bug you could look for. Incredible. And 
that was contemporaneous in time, what was going on in Moscow, 
to this period here. 

So do you think it affected security? A dumb question, I think. 

Mr. Bell. Well, I think the attitude at the time was that we're 
not taking any classified information into Vietnam; we're only 
working on POW/MIA matters. But I think what many in the pol- 
icy aspect forgot was that when you deal with live sighting inves- 
tigations, you do have to have some sort of strategy. If you're going 
out to visit a prison, the Vietnamese are going to want to know in 
advance — I mean, we have never visited a prison without notifying 
them in advance. But the amount of time that you do give them 
is important. 

It also is important that you are able to plan your investigation 
strategy, where you will have one person who can speak the lan- 
guage well enough to pick up the innuendoes, who will be standing 
by when the witnesses are coached or rehearsed or whatever. When 
a cadre comes over and tells a witness, for example, "You tell the 
American that the parachute came out and opened, and you saw 
the parachute go down, but don't tell him anything else after that", 
it's important to hear that type of comment. This is all a part of 
your strategy. But you can't have a strategy when you're monitored 
24 hours around the clock. It's impossible. 

Mr. DORNAN. Right. So you can't even talk 

Mr. Bell. They know everything you're going to do before you 
can do it yourself, you know. 

Mr. DORNAN. For example, there was a yachtsman, remember, 
when Senator Kerry was taken to the cleaners over there, down in 
the rV Corps area, they moved him briefly — I think he just sat in 
a car. Kerry came in, examined the prison, Kerry left, and they 
moved the prisoner right back into the prison. 

Mr. Bell. They moved that — he was an American citizen who 
was arrested in a boat. We were checking the access to see if the 
Vietnamese were being sincere, if they were fully cooperating. Sen- 
ator Kerry asked the Vietnamese, "Do you have any Americans de- 


tained in this prison now, or have you ever had any Americans", 
and the Vietnamese said, "No, we don't have any Americans in 
here now, and we never have had." You know, we took that at face 
value, or at least the Senator did. He came back and said the Viet- 
namese are cooperating, very candid, straightforward, et cetera, et 
cetera. But 8 months later, this American was released and he just 
happened to be held in that same prison. He said he was moved 
out of that prison the day before Senator Kerry arrived there to in- 
spect, and they moved him back into that same prison 2 days after 
Senator Kerry left. 

Mr. DORNAN. The godfather of communism 

Mr. Bell. So, they weren't being as straightforward as we 
thought. I mean, I really didn't think they were anyway. 

Mr. DORNAN. The godfather of communism, Lenin, said that 
when you're lying to further the cause, it's not a lie. So nobody 
should be surprised. 

How about your telephone and your facsimile communications? 
Who installed all of that? 

Mr. Bell. The Vietnamese technical department. [Laughter.] 

Mr. DORNAN. Sad laughter again. I guess I wasn't surprised at 
that answer. 

As a result of that, did you feel that you and Mr. Destatte had 
a proper facility in which to plan investigations, for the most im- 
portant discrepancy cases, or to discuss strategy, things of that na- 

Mr. Bell. No, sir. The discrepancy cases, we got mired down in 
terminology as to whether or not a case would be a discrepancy 
case, a priority discrepancy case, or last known live sighting case. 
But any of those 

Mr. DORNAN. Who got bogged down, you and Destatte? 

Mr. Bell. No; the whole apparatus, the accounting effort, just 
with the terminology. So whenever I'm asked a question now, I'm 
not sure exactly to which cases you might be referring because of 
that mixup in terminology. 

But I think you can describe all the important cases, whether we 
had proof that the Vietnamese knew about it — for example, if we 
saw a photograph of the man dead on the ground, that should be 
a discrepancy case. If we had a picture in a magazine in the Soviet 
Union with a man with a bandaged head and still alive, then that 
would be a discrepancy case, or if the man was last known alive. 
But all of those cases required some degree of strategy. 

I think the idea was that it's not important about the commu- 
nications because now we're no longer going to have a strategy. 
What we're going to do is we're going to send infantry people in to 
do these cases, and they're not going to ask any questions anyway, 
and they're not going to have any strategy, so what does it matter? 

Mr. DoRNAN. Did they have language school training? 

Mr. Bell. Some of the younger people. You know, like I men- 
tioned before, I don't think a senior Vietnamese cadre, 70, 80 years 
old, is going to be very straightforward and forthcoming with a 22- 
year-old kid right out of language school. 

Mr. DoRNAN. A technical and personal question. 


When did you start to dream in Vietnamese? How many years 
had you studied the language and used it where you found yourself 
thinking in Vietnamese grammar and sentence structure? 

Mr. Bell. Thirty-one years, sir. 

Mr. DORNAN. You were 31 years of age? 

Mr. Bell. No, sir; I was 21 years old when I first learned Viet- 

Mr. DoRNAN. But it took you 31 years before you could stand 
there and pick up whispered dialog with nuances? 

Mr. Bell. Maybe not that long to pick up innuendoes. I would 
say 20 years, maybe. 

Mr. DORNAN. Yell this out, Mr. Benge. I see Michael Benge out 
in the audience. 

When you were captured, you spoke Vietnamese, right? 

Mr. Benge. Yes. 

Mr. DORNAN. And how long did it take you in the camp struc- 
ture, listening to them, before you could think in Vietnamese and 
pick up whispered nuanced conversation? 

Mr. Benge. I would say right before I was released. 

Mr. DORNAN. And then you made a mistake at one of your ses- 
sions, where they had you before, they spoke in Vietnamese and 
you answered in Vietnamese, and you realized then that you had 
blown your cover. 

Mr. Benge. Yes, sir. 

Mr. DoRNAN. And you paid the price for it. 

By the way, when you were here the other day, it should have 
been brought out that when you were captured in your jeep, there 
was a little 14-year-old boy with you, and he ran for the under- 
brush and they shot him in the leg, and then went over and sum- 
marily executed him with a shot right in his face. That would have 
gotten your attention within the first few minutes of you being cap- 

Mr. Benge. It sure did. 

Mr. Dornan. Thank you. 

Again, here's one of these tough questions, where I almost want 
to call you "Bill", but I don't need to do that, Mr. Bell, to get a 
tough and straight answer. I did not realize you were eased out of 
this process because you had spoken to a House committee. I have 
discussed this with my staff. There will be no threatening of peo- 
ple. There will be no threatening of people. 

How many DPMO people do we have in the audience right now? 
Raise your hand. I count nine. I'm telling you, gentlemen, I'm put- 
ting you on notice. There will be no threatening or easing off active 
duty, anybody, for talking to staff or any member of the U.S. Con- 
gress or Senate. 

My staff brought it up to me, and Mr. Chapla told me he in- 
formed people at the Defense Department. We will not tolerate for 
a minute people being eased out on some charge of disloyalty be- 
cause they were loyal to elected U.S. Congressmen, loyal to the 
process of truth, loyal to the families. That will not happen on my 
watch, or you'd better pray I get defeated on November 5. You 
know where to send the donations. Her name is Loretta Sanchez. 

Now, here's this tough question, Mr. Bell. And it's not going to 
happen, what happened to Bill Bell. This man should still be on 


active duty, working this problem. The famiUes think so, Ann Grif- 
fiths thinks so. 

Mr. Bell, most of the so-called live sighting reports were elimi- 
nated during 1992 — and the Senate committee shut down that 
month — and in 1993. Were these investigations conducted, in your 
opinion, in a professional manner during those 2 years, 1992 and 

Mr. Bell. No, sir; I don't think so. The reason I say that is be- 
cause the investigator, the person who investigated those cases, 
was not someone who was there on the ground, who had any POW/ 
MIA background, who was familiar with the cases or anything else. 
This was someone that they brought in for a 1-year tour, com- 
pletely cold, didn't have any idea about the layout, didn't have any 
idea — very little language skills. 

I think, to do almost a hundred cases, and in 1 year, very quickly 
like that, with a cold investigator who doesn't know anything about 
it, I don't think that's a sincere effort. 

Mr. DORNAN. This next question is very peculiar and upsetting. 
But let me ask a followup to that first before I ask this strange 

Was document shredding in Bangkok, in the Embassy there, sig- 
nificant, in your opinion? It was to me. Was it significant? 

Mr. Bell. It was significant to my job especially, but significant 
to the overall effort, I'm not really sure because I don't think any- 
one really knows what was shredded. 

Mr. DoRNAN. The admiral who gave the command to do that left 
the service under a cloud, did he not? Oh, it was Admiral Larson 
who ordered that. He's commander now at Annapolis? 

Let me ask you about two people who went to work for Caterpil- 
lar, U.S. Caterpillar, Peoria, IL. Were there two people on the pay- 
roll investigating some of these discrepancy cases, that as soon as 
the Senate committee shut down, they went over to work for Cat- 
erpillar and they're in Vietnam now? 

Mr. Bell. I think two people went to work. The team chief of the 
discrepancy case team, and the senior DPMO representative on the 
team — I think the DPMO guy is the one that went to work for Cat- 

Mr. DORNAN. What happened to the other guy? 

Mr. Bell. The other one went to work for Nation Books. This 
was at about the time they crossed off the cases and the embargo 
was lifted. 

Mr. DORNAN. Who did he go to work for, the second one? 

Mr. Bell. Nation Books. 

Mr. DORNAN. What's that? 

Mr. Bell. It's a publishing company that sells books in Indo- 

Mr. DORNAN. Meaning Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam? 

Mr. Bell. Yes, sir. 

Mr. DoRNAN. So they both stayed in the area and they're making 
money there? 

Mr. Bell. I think more than one. I think maybe at least three. 
One was Caterpillar and two with Nation Books. 

Mr. DoRNAN. Isn't it amazing that Colin Powell, a four-star gen- 
eral, cannot become the Secretary of Defense. If Clinton wanted 


him to, if he gets reelected, or if Bob Dole closes the gap and gets 
elected, they can't appoint him Secretary of Defense. State, yes, but 
not Defense. He can't work in anything until he's been separated 
10 years from the Defense Department. 

But people who are clearing quickly a hundred discrepancy cases, 
stay in Hanoi and start drawing money from a U.S. corporation? 

Mr. Bell. Yes, sir. 

Mr. DORNAN. I personally find that disgusting, offensive. If my 
kid brother was missing in action, I'd raise holy hell over that. 

Mr. Bell. I think most of the places that are hiring these people 
are represented by the United StatesA^ietnam Trade Council, 
which is a front organization headed by former Ambassador to 
Laos, William Sullivan. 

Mr. DORNAN. Sullivan? 

Mr. Bell. Yes, sir. 

Mr. DORNAN. Whose code name was "Cowboy"? 

Mr. Bell. Yes, sir. 

Mr. DORNAN. Who was both in Tehran, the first time our Em- 
bassy was hit, and then back to Laos, and preceded G. McMurtry 

Mr. Bell. That's correct, sir. 

Mr. DoRNAN. He is the head of this friendship organization? 

Mr. Bell. The United StatesA^ietnam Trade Council, of which 
Caterpillar is a member, and these other companies, where the 
joint task force people are working. 

Mr. DORNAN. I find Frances Lynig, and I say this publicly, I find 
her in that position utterly loathsome, disgusting, a foul conflict of 
interest that's an affront to every family member who still suffers 
with their missing in action. I see some family members and some 
former POW's heads nodding in affirmation. 

Did you have any comment on anything that Mr. Bell said, Mr. 
Veith, or anything you want to add? 

Mr. Veith. I want to clarify one thing Mr. Bell was talking 
about, in terms of what's called the oral history program, which 
was a program that both he and, I believe, Mr. Destatte helped ini- 
tiate in 1993. 

Mr. DoRNAN. Oral history program involving Vietnam, their oral 
history of the Vietnam war? 

Mr. Veith. What it refers to, sir, is our JTF-FA investigators 
going over to Vietnam and interviewing their cadre about their 
knowledge of United States losses in a particular area, or overall 
policy toward American POW/MIA's. I believe General Vialli testi- 
fied last year there was about 175. I've gotten most of those and 
have read most of those. 

If you take a look at those oral histories, from the ones that Mr. 
Bell did initially, and then when he left in about March or April 
1993, the quality of those interviews drops off dramatically. What 
you find happening is that, in terms of what Mr. Bell said about 
the senior PAVN cadre, you will find our enlisted men or our 
NCO's interviewing lieutenant generals, major generals, senior 
Communist cadre. 

Anybody with any sense of the Asians and their concepts of rank 
and face must realize that they're not going to get anjrthing out of 
those people of substance, simply because of the rank and position 


aspect, from that aspect alone. But even if that didn't happen, the 
quaHty of questioning and the quaHty of the interviews done, in 
1993 especially, after Mr. Bell left, is a serious drop off. 

Although I will say the quality improved in 1994 and 1995, es- 
sentially speaking, if Mr. Bell or Mr. Destatte didn't do the inter- 
view, it was worthless. 

Mr. DORNAN. Jay, let me go down a line of questions here, and 
answer them as quickly as you can, and then you can comment at 
the end and Mr. Bell can have a closing comment. 

When was the first comprehensive poll of NSA materials after 
the Vietnam war? How significant is that? 

Mr. Veith. Well, it wasn't done until 1992 

Mr. DoRNAN. What? 

Mr. Veith [continuing]. And it was done because Mr. Mooney, 
when they took him back to NSA, he gave them the computer codes 
to access the database. 

Mr. DORNAN. By the way, this document you gave me, I wrote 
"Secret" at the top and put it in my pocket, and I'm going to de- 
posit it, in my other chairman position, up in the dome with the 
Intelligence Committee, to see if there's anything classified on 
there. But I appreciate him giving it to me. I'm allowed to receive 
classified information from former honorable people who served our 
Government and have information about American heroes. 

Mr. Veith. Right. I don't want an FBI agent at my doorstep to- 
morrow. My wife doesn't look favorably upon that sort of stuff. 

Mr. DORNAN. Well, the media and the committees are so busy 
tracking the disreputable Dick Morris, and finding out how he got 
secret information from the reported Commander in Chief, that 
people are busy on other things right now. 

How significant is it, in your analysis, that we didn't do a survey 
of NSA materials until 3 years ago? 

Mr. Veith. Well, what happened was, as various dust-ups oc- 
curred in the POW/MIA issue over the last 20 or 30 years, DIA at 
that time would go to NSA and say give us what you have. NSA 
would comply. They would give them a little bit. Three or four 
years later, another dust-up and they would go back to NSA, give 
us what you have. They would find a little bit more. Each time 
they would do this, they would find a little bit more, until the Sen- 
ate select committee was in session and Mr. Mooney went down 
there, and Mr. Lang called him up and said NSA has egg all over 
its face because this stuff is just pouring out of the computer. 

Now, if you read the Senate select committee's final report, it 
clearly states that there are hundreds of boxes that remain 
unreviewed at NSA on NSA wartime material, along with a lot of 
tapes. Most of the material was kept on magnetic tape, at least it 
was back then. 

Mr. DoRNAN. After the November 5th election, I promise you I'm 
going up there to try and — hopefully, I'll have Mr. Mooney fl3dng 
on my wing. 

To what extent did the NSA penetrate the People's Army of Viet- 
nam air defense command and control — I'm asking you to repeat 
something you already said — down to the gun-pit level? 

Mr. Veith. Absolutely and totally. They had almost complete 
electronic coverage, an electronic spectrum, and the reason why 


they could penetrate it so deeply was because the PAVN were 
using old-style Soviet codes, called ferrier codes, to communicate. 
They used Soviet tactics to fight. They had Soviet advisers. They 
basically were a mockup of the Soviet system. 

Because they were using old-style Soviet codes to communicate, 
the NSA could break them in a heartbeat. Most of the stuff that 
they passed was not in code groups, and what's important about 
this execution message is that this was based on the unit's particu- 
lar code. That's how they knew, one of the reasons why they knew 
this was a good message. 

Most of the reporting that was done was called postfire reports, 
they're columns, ammunition being column A, number of rounds 
expended would be column B, and so forth. These would be passed 
in the clear. So they could monitor these. This is where they would 
come up and there would be one section of how many pilots they 
captured or killed or whatever, and you would often get reports, 1 
of 1, 2 of 2, 3 of 3. This is when you begin taking and matching 
up where the intercept site was located, the time, what you call the 
art and science of SIGINT. 

He would then take this SIGINT report and he would then go 
over to what is called collateral into the C/REF and COINS files 
and he would match it up with U.S. intelligence, other U.S. intel- 
ligence. Because he was trying to be as absolutely precise as pos- 
sible, because his bosses made him do this, because everyone at 
NSA expected, in 1973, for Henry Kissinger to come to them and 
say give us what you have on POW/MIA's — and it never happened. 

So Mooney would have these lists, ready to go, and it never hap- 

Mr. DORNAN. The recovery of this in-the-clear data goes all the 
way back to McNamara's 7 years, all the way back to 1965, 1966, 

Mr. Veith. Back to 1962, sir. I have just recently uncovered a 
document from what was called a declassified documents project. It 
was called a NSAM, a National Security Action Memorandum, 
from November 1963, which instructs the NSA to upgrade dramati- 
cally its abilities to penetrate and record Viet Cong communica- 

I will tell you that one of Mr. Moone^s bosses sent him in 1962 
to the Philippines to prepare the NSA to begin copying and trans- 
mitting — copying and intercepting NVA communications, because 
this man. Col. John Kennedy, believed a war was going to happen. 

Mr. DORNAN. It's no surprise that I hold McNamara in utter dis- 
respect. I've called him a war criminal on the House floor, and now 
I'll do it in open committee. But finally, after midnight last night, 
I watched Charlie Rose interview an author, Paul Hendrickson, 
who has written a book with a compelling title, "The Living and 
the Dead". It appears that somebody is finally tearing down the 
wall of ego built around McNamara, protected by the elite inside 
the beltway. 

McNamara would have been fascinated with this numbers 
crunching, because we had no battle plan, as Colonel Corso pointed 
out, in both Korea and Vietnam, to win the war. So, of course, this 
was something they obsessed over, since they had nothing else to 
do, like drawing up battle plans on how to achieve victory. 


Let me finish these questions. Did the NSA collect reports that 
indicated direct, direct Soviet involvement with captured Ameri- 
cans in North Vietnam? 

Mr. Veith. Yes, sir. What happened with Mr. Mooney's — I don't 
know the exact timeframe, but just by shear happenstance, they 
had overheard a couple of guards talking in the clear, talking about 
moving American POW's and the Soviet involvement. 

The NSA section that Mr. Mooney ran used old French battle 
maps, which is not unknown — and Mr. Bell can also talk about the 
old French battle maps. They looked on the maps to see the loca- 
tion that these PAVN guards were talking about, and they hap- 
pened to notice a village nearby called Sohn Tae. This was a loca- 
tion that American prisoners, according to Mr. Mooney, were taken, 
if they agreed to cooperate. They were taken to this location, inter- 
rogated by the Soviets, and then moved onward. 

Now, what I did was I had Mr. Bell send Mr. Mooney a 1:50,000 
map. I said, "Jerry, put an X on the map where this was at." He 
said fine, he did it. He sends it back to Mr. Bell, and lo and behold, 
it happens to be right next to the PAVN MR-4 hospital where the 
Cubans were also involved — and Mr. Bell can elaborate on that in 
a little more detail. 

So what you had here was SIGINT picking up a location, where 
the Soviets were involved in interrogating American POWs, that 
happened to be right next to a major PAVN military hospital com- 

Mr. DORNAN. Comment, Mr. Bell? 

Mr. Bell. The Cubans were actually all the way down to just 
above the DMZ at Doung Hai, just above the DMZ, which was the 
forward location of the field hospital. But the actual location of the 
field hospital, like Mr. Veith just mentioned, was back up in Vinh 

Mr. DORNAN. So an analyst who would say that the Cubans were 
involved with our prisoners for a period of less than a year, you 
would find that an incredible statement to make, since they had 
journalists over there in 1965, or earlier? Just yell it out, please, 
Mr. Michael Benge. 

What was the month you were interviewed by — interrogated by 
the Cubans? 

Mr. Benge. I was interrogated in 

Mr. DoRNAN. They were supposed to have left in August 1968. 

Mr. Benge. Right. I arrived in Hanoi in 1969, so it would be very 
shortly after. 

Mr. DORNAN. Already this former POW discredits the fact that 
the Cubans left with their tail between their legs, as Jim Cassler, 
a jet ace from Korea, horribly tortured, they left with great parties 
at the auditorium, at the zoo, with everybody speaking English. 

Is there still a substantial amount of NSA intercepts — I think 
you answered this, and I want to hear it again — and reports that 
were collected during the Vietnam war, and in the post-war years, 
that is yet to be shared with other Government agencies respon- 
sible for accounting for our POW's? 

Translation: could DPMO still go over there, if NSA made it 
available, and these 89 people that are on the pa3n-oll — well, three 


are assigned to search for the future — but the 86 people on the pay- 
roll, there would be a lot for them to do just at NSA alone, correct? 

Mr. Veith. That's correct. 

Let me give you two answers to that, sir. Mr. Mooney himself, 
during the war, was trying to transfer what was then a manual 
system, part paper, into their electronic database. Over a period of 
about 6 months, he transferred 250,000 NSA intercepts into their 
hard copy, into their electronic database. He told me that he had 
barely scratched the surface. 

Now, the second thing I want to bring up is in terms of what 
NSA is doing now. This is kind of where we're dancing around 
some of the things that may or may not be classified. 

It is my personal opinion that we still have very good penetration 
of North Vietnamese communications. I base that upon two things. 
One is, I found an intercept dated September 1992, in the Library 
of Congress that talks about the Minister of Interior from Quang 
Binh Province to not let the American team going down into that 
area to take photographs, not let them do an3rthing other than 
what they're supposed to be doing. 

Then there was a question asked of one of the DPMO analysts, 
again at the National League of Families meeting last June, where 
they asked him specifically does NSA currently have evidence that 
Vietnam is continuing to manipulate the issue, and the answer was 

Mr. DORNAN. Which DPMO analyst said that? 

Mr. Veith. I believe it was Dr. Gary Seido, sir. 

Mr. DORNAN. I'll ask Gary. 

What recommendations can you make about SIGINT reports that 
may correlate to the infamous Baron 52 incident? 

Mr. Veith. What I recommend, sir, is that we stop running a 
deal with these one-liners or two-liners of text. Especially with you, 
as head of the technical Intelligence Committee, you can request 
the full, unredacted version. What I would look for, especially in 

Mr. DoRNAN. When I ask for them, they keep sending me the re- 
dacted versions. I have a top secret clearance. I sit on the Intel- 
ligence Committee. I'm chairman of one of its only two subcommit- 
tees. I'm one of only two double chairmen in the entire Congress, 
out of 435. 

You keep sending me redacted materials from DPMO. It's just a 
waste of time. It's paralysis, and it ends up in deception. 

Go ahead. 

Mr. Veith. This is one of the problems I see, especially with the 
post-war material. Much of the discussion revolves around where 
the actual intercept came from. I believe DPMO says they actually 
intercepted four bandit pilots out of Phou Bie. 

Now, there's a very simple way to find that out. Ask for the 
"from-to" line. If it doesn't say USM-808 on it, it's not from Phou 

Now, Mr. Mooney believes that the actual intercept did not come 
from Phou Bie, for two reasons. One, he believes that Phou Bie 
can't reach that particular area, and two, there is a very highly 
technical atmospheric condition, which I won't go into, that pre- 
vents intercepts — that prevents them from going to that area. It's 


an atmospheric condition that occurs in certain areas of the world, 
and the NSA has intercept capabihties at those locations, and 
that's where he believes the four bandit pilot intercepts came from, 
and not from Phou Bie. 

It's very simple to find out. Just ask for the "from-to" line, and 
it says what I told you it says, it's from Phou Bie; if it doesn't say 
that, then it's not from Phou Bie. It's a very simple process. 

Mr. DORNAN. The material that you found in the open, in the Li- 
brary of Congress, what section? 

Mr. Veith. It's the POW/MIA microfilm rolls over there. They're 
right across the street, sir. 

Mr. DoRNAN. Mr. Paul Cole, who was also trashed by some peo- 
ple at DPMO, a good analyst, a good archivist, he gave me a list 
of things to look at at the extension of the National Archives up 
at the University of Maryland. It is a tough, arduous process. 

Mr. Veith. Don't I know, sir. 

Mr. DORNAN. My cousin is an expert producer and film editor, 
and he asked me once, do you want to edit some film. He put me 
on a — I couldn't stand it. I'm a fighter pilot. 

Mr. Veith. There are 13 total rolls in one set of the microfilm 
collection that deals with SIGINT NSA materials — I'm sorry, 13 
total rolls in both sets. I have been through every single frame and 
all 13 rolls twice. 

Mr. DoRNAN. Good for you. 

What significance is the "from-to" line? 

Mr. Veith. It will tell you who the interceptor is. It will tell you 
the unit or the station that actually intercepted the communica- 

Mr. DORNAN. You mean the NSA 

Mr. Veith. Correct, the NSA unit — or actually, the Army security 

Mr. DORNAN. I'll keep that in mind. 

What is the significance — this is a tough case, because I was at 
the Intercontinental Siam Hotel during the war, looking for targets 
of opportunity as a journalist, but also a loyal Reserve Air Force 
officer. I found some Iraqi pilots. They clammed up after a while 
when their wives came over, because they thought I was some left 
wing journalist touching on sensitive material. But they were try- 
ing to unwind and had a few drinks, and they told me about Site 
Lima 85. They said this was one of the most incredible stories of 
the war, being bombed by Antonov 2 colt aircraft and this cliff-scal- 
ing operation by the Soviets. I do not like the DPMO analysis of 
it, I'll tell you quite frankly. 

But what is the significance of all the NSA intercepts related to 
the battle up on the plateau, the mesa of Lima Site 85? 

Mr. Veith. Well, in terms of the actual battle, there's not much. 
There are some intercepts after the war. There is a message I 
found that refers to 27 or 30 total messages from the actual war- 
time period. 

What I believe is more important is the post-war intercepts from 
June 1977, that I found in the Library of Congress, that clearly 
state the Lao sent what they called Company 18, which is actually 
a unit stationed in the area, a dissident Mong battalion, sent them 
up to Lima Site 85 to recover the remains of Americans up there. 


Now, this was known to the U.S. intelHgence community as soon 
as it happened. I have the documents that show it. But Ann Hol- 
land never saw it until I happened to show it to her, when I faxed 
it to her several days before it all came out. 

Mr. DORNAN. She testified in June? 

Mr. Veith. Yes, sir. So we have known, since 1977, that the Lao 
sent the unit stationed in the area up on top of Phou Pha Thi, or 
at least in that general area, to begin recovering remains in that 
area, and to send them to what they call Office 208 in that prov- 

Now, I guess the obvious question to ask is, has our Government 
gone to the Lao and said we know that you were up there, for 
whatever technical intelligence reasons. Give us the remains back 
if you happen to 

Mr. DORNAN. Probably not. I may come back to that for a second. 

In July, 1972, was NSA convinced — and again, this has already 
been discussed — that the 10 Americans executed in Quang Tri 
Province was a real event that was about to happen? Did NSA 
think it was a real event? 

Mr. Veith. NSA, according to Mr. Mooney, was absolutely con- 
vinced that this was an authentic message, based upon one of the 
reasons I gave you, in terms of the Z priority in the upper left hand 
comer. That's a flash priority. There is no cancellation message in 
the Library of Congress files, nor, according to Mr. Mooney, was 
there ever one issued. It also appeared the next day in the NSA 
daily southeast Asian summary, which only gets the top materials. 

Now, this is very easy for us to figure out whether this actually 
happened or not. Release the whole contents of the message. Do a 
search of the NSA database for the Vietnamese officer who signed 
the message. 

I made some recommendations to DPMO a while back. I don't 
know if they've ever acted on them or not. 

Mr. DORNAN. If that execution actually took place, what signifi- 
cance would that have today, in terms of evaluating current 

Mr. Veith. The significance is that the people at DIA at the time 
and Mr. Mooney thought that it pertained to, actually happened to 
be a AC- 130 that had gone down several months before — and I be- 
lieve the crew member that Mr. Mooney specifically remembers 
was a guy named Mark Danielson, whose family lives in Colorado, 
and whose remains were excavated out of the site in one of those 
handful of bone fragment type things and we mass bury everybody. 

Mr. DORNAN. So there is still information we can extract. 

Here is something I wanted to add to the Lima Site 85 at Phou 
Pha Thi Mountain in Laos. The Vietnamese and the Laotian Com- 
munists claim there were no records of this attack, one of the more 
brilliant tactical moves of the war, and are therefore unable to pro- 
vide us with any information about 11 American servicemen as- 
signed to this top secret Loran facility, sending in F-105's. We 
have already found a presumptive finding of death. 

Do you believe DPMO should just accept the assessment, that 
they kept no records of a glorious attack like this? 

Mr. Veith. Personally, no. I think it is really strange credibility 
to accept that PAVN forces sent an entire sapper team all the way 


into Laos to destroy a very important American base, have those 
guys come back 

Mr. DORNAN. They had tried to destroy it for 2 or 3 years. 

Mr. Veith. Yes, 2 or 3 months. And then have the guy come back 
and say, "Hey, I did it. Job well done. Thanks a lot, Lieutenant." 

Mr. DORNAN. This guy is now a lieutenant colonel, Truong Muc. 

Mr. Bell. I think another point, too, Mr. Chairman, regarding 
Mr. Truong Muc, who turned out to be the only available witness, 
this had to be a very unique or special attack during his career. 

Mr. DORNAN. The peak of his career. 

Mr. Bell. With AN Soviet aircraft involved, across an inter- 
national boundary, with PAVN sappers involved and so forth. And 
not only did he claim there were never any records made, he also 
claimed that he could not remember even one name of an individ- 
ual who participated in the attack with him. I think that's prepos- 

Mr. DORNAN. It is preposterous, but the "30 pieces of silver" con- 
tinue to flow to Hanoi. 

Mr. Veith. If I could just add one more piece to that, his team 
left a month before the attack. That means he had to go from his 
location, travel down to the Phou Pha Thi area. He had to be fed, 
at least kept somewhere. They had to move supplies to his unit at 
a relatively constant rate. 

Who did that? Who were the people behind it and why haven't 
they been identified? Why has no one tried to interview those peo- 
ple? I mean, somebody has to do a logistics trail of this operation. 

Mr. DORNAN. As Mr. Bell said, it's preposterous. 

Here is a final general question and then I will turn it back over 
to Mr. Pickett. This is to both of you. This is kind of the bottomline 

Do you believe that the Vietnamese Politburo and the Central 
Committee, which is a separate entity as far as keeping fanatically 
detailed records, as you put it, Mr. Bell, do you believe the Polit- 
buro and the Central Committee documents that they have not 
given us contain information relevant to our American POW's? 

Mr. Veith. I believe that's a good question to ask for the next 
panel, why we have not asked for any Communist Party docu- 
ments, which is what those represent. 

Mr. Bell. I just wanted to say one thing. Congressman. The rea- 
son, as Mr. Veith pointed out, that our Government hasn't asked 
for any Communist Party document is we've had documents before 
where they say kill this man, shoot him — hang him but don't shoot 
him, so they won't be able to find the bullet in the body and so 

But the main thing is, our Government has not asked for any 
records from the Communist Party. The Military Affairs Commit- 
tee, the Central Committee, any time you're involved with clandes- 
tine or sensitive operations, that's where these records would be, 
and especially in cases where Americans were executed. 

The reason our Government has not asked for these records is 
because they know in advance that the Vietnamese are going to 
say no. That would give cause for everyone to say they're not co- 
operating fully, which we know they're not anyway. 


Mr. DORNAN. Here is a document — and I'll end on this — from 
June 19, 1996. It was submitted to Kent Weideman, on our Sub- 
committee on Military Personnel. It has questions and then it has 
answers. And here's one of the questions. 

"Have you personally asked the Vietnamese Government, or the 
Central Committee or Politburo, for records from the war? If you 
have, what is their response?" 

And here's the answer that he is supposed to give, kind of this 
rehearsed thing you talked about that ended up costing you your 

"We have asked the Vietnamese for all records and documents. 
I have made this request personally as a member of Presidential 
delegations. We have also mentioned our special interest in Central 
Committee or Politburo documents. While Vietnam has provided no 
Central Committee or Politburo documents to date, we have no evi- 
dence, from Russia or any other quarter, that the kind of case-spe- 
cific information that would help us resolve POW/MIA cases was 
discussed at the Central Committee or the Politburo level." 

It is the nature of bureaucratic hierarchies that specificity de- 
creases as one ascends the chain of command. Not with POW's. Not 
with the KGB, not in Pyongyang, and not in Hanoi. 

"The kind of detail we need * * *", this is the bureaucratic re- 
sponse, "is much more likely to be found in unit records." What 
crap. What a terrible analysis. "* * * and in documents prepared 
at lower echelons. These are among the types of records we have 
begun to receive from the Vietnamese document search teams. The 
Vietnamese have also located and made available a number of wit- 
nesses, some of them quite senior, enabling us to interview them 
directly regarding any relevant knowledge they might have." 

This is to write the history, we're going to hear from the victori- 
ous lieutenant colonels who never won a battle, while we had air 
supremacy and sea supremacy, certainly superiority. 

"As to how the Vietnamese respond to requests for Central Com- 
mittee or Politburo documents, they reply by sa3dng no information 
relevant to unaccounted for Americans is contained in these 

Do you believe that that answer from the Vietnamese is an abso- 
lute lie. Jay? 

Mr. Veith. Yes, sir. 

Mr. DORNAN. Do you, Mr. Bell? 

Mr. Bell. Yes, sir. 

Mr. DORNAN. We need a whole new team at DPMO, gentlemen. 
It is confrontational now. I'm very sorry. 

Thank you very much. Any questions, Mr. Pickett? 

Mr. Pickett. I have no questions. 

Mr. DORNAN. Thank you, gentlemen. 

Would the third panel please come forward. Mr. J. Alan Liotta, 
Deputy Director, Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Of- 
fice — action is not in the acron3nn; Mr. Robert J. Destatte, senior 
analyst, Research and Analysis Directorate; Mr. Norm Kass, Direc- 
tor, Joint Commission Support Directorate, which handles Russia; 
and Comdr. William G. Beck, U.S. Navy Reserves, Special Re- 
search, also under the JCSD. Please come forward. 


They are accompanied by Mr. Danz Blasser, analyst, also of the 
JCSD; Mr. John McCreary, analyst. Then, because Carol Hrdlicka 
asked me to, I asked for the two interviewers of a former Soviet 
journalist, Ivan Loboda, regarding my friend. Col. David Hrdlicka. 
I see that would be Mr. Norm Kass, who is already coming for- 
ward, and in the row behind him will be Mr. Tony Litvinas, who 
is from a different branch of DPMO. He's an analyst with the Re- 
search and Analysis Directorate that Mr. Destatte heads. 

Gentlemen, please take your seats. 

[Panel sworn.] 

Mr. DORNAN. Mr. Liotta, have you testified anywhere on the Hill 
since that first meeting when you testified for me? 

Mr. Liotta. No, sir. 

Mr. DORNAN. OK You said that was your baptism of fire. 

Mr. Liotta. Yes, sir. 

Mr. DoRNAN. You said it wasn't so bad. Brace yourself. It might 
not be as nice today. 

Mr. Liotta, I'm going to start with you. I understand you have 
a written statement and Mr. Destatte has a written statement. 

Mr. Liotta. Only I will be presenting a written statement today, 

Mr. DORNAN. I just mentioned that it has gotten very 
confrontational now, because I think what your whole senior team, 
what General Wald calls the corporate board, should have had 
their tails in this room during the testimony of a two-star Czech 
defector. General Sejna, and Philip Corso, who is not nearly the 
human being described by some analysts at the Defense Depart- 
ment, and Mr. Douglass, who accompanied them. 

You should have been in here for the testimony of Bill Bell, who 
I didn't know until today was eased out of his job because he testi- 
fied truthfully and openly to a closed Senate Committee. And you 
should have heard what Mr. George J. Veith had to say. I learn 
more from these people outside the system than I ever do inside. 
I'm learning now how people are prepared with the "murder 
board", how to give canned answers from DPMO to questions. 

I was asked by General Wald, a decent man, to supply you with 
questions that we were going to ask and with cases we're going to 
discuss. This chairman will never do that again. As a ranking mi- 
nority member or chairman, I am never going to supply any ques- 
tions to DPMO. I want everything to be "cold turkey" here. No 
preparations, no rehearsed canned answers. Candidness. 

In one case we're dealing with a personal friend of mine, David 
Hrdlicka, and I'm sick of the nonsense. That's why I wanted Tony 
Litvinas to come here, too, since he and Mr. Kass went over and 
interviewed the surviving journalist, Ivan Loboda. The other one 
has died. 

Please start, Mr. Liotta, with your prepared statement. 

Mr. Liotta. Before I begin, I would just say I'm a little confused, 
Mr. Chairman. I'm not sure to what you're referring in preparation 
of canned responses. That's not what we do at DPMO, and every 
person that comes to testify before you is sworn in and is prepared 
to speak the facts as they know them, and to provide truthful an- 
swers to your committees. 

38-526 - 97 - 5 


Mr. DORNAN. Mr. Liotta, you may be new to the system. When 
did you come on board? 

Mr. Liotta. I came on board as Deputy Director 1 year ago. 

Mr. DORNAN. Then you wouldn't have been there diuing the pe- 
riod that was discussed, during the Senate Committee hearings, 
when people were given questions they were going to be asked, 
sent them over not out of courtesy but what I charge was collusion, 
with this Frances Weinig, who is now making blood money in 
Hanoi, who was chief of staff of the committee. And then the writ- 
ten responses were given, and people were told, "You don't have to 
slavishly memorize this, but here's the answers you're supposed to 
give." And when Mr. Bell did not give those answers, his work was 
on a termination path after that. 

Mr. Liotta. You're correct, Mr. Chairman, that was before I 
came on board and, in fact, before our office was even established. 
But that's not the way we do business today. We try very hard to 
answer accurately and faithfully all the questions which you put 
forward to us, either in written form or through phone calls, or 
through committee testimony. 

Mr. DORNAN. I'm happy to hear it. Please proceed, 


Mr. Liotta. Good afternoon. I would like to thank you, Mr. 
Chairman, and members of your committee for this opportunity to 
brief you on events that have transpired since I last testified here 
in June regarding our efforts to account for American servicemen 
lost in North Korea. 

On November 1, 1950, near the North Korean village of Unsan, 
elements of the U.S. Army Eighth Cavalry Regiment were making 
their last stands against on onslaught which had surprised and ini- 
tially thrown back the U.N. command along the entire Korean 
front. In a lone foxhole, one cavalry trooper, like his forebears 
under Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn almost 120 years 
ago, went down fighting. But neither his surviving comrades or 
family ever knew what happened to him. He was reported missing 
and presumptively declared dead on December 31, 1953. 

On July 30, 1996, the team of 10 American Department of De- 
fense remains recovery experts retiu-ned from the first ever joint 
United States-North Korean recovery operation in the Democratic 
People's Republic of Korea. This unprecedented event was the re- 
sult of long years of frustrating but ultimately successful negotia- 
tions with North Korea on the POW/MIA issue. 

The team recovered remains which have been confirmed as those 
of the previously mentioned trooper who was killed in action in 
North Korea in November 1950. Those remains are now going 
through the final steps of the identification process and contact is 
being reestablished with his next of kin so that we can provide 


them these remains for burial with honor. Our team for the second 
joint recovery operation is scheduled to deploy into North Korea 
later this month. 

Since I last testified, our researchers have been to the Eisen- 
hower Library archives, where much of the government-level infor- 
mation on the Korean war period and the period immediately after 
was located. They brought back approximately 1,800 pages of un- 
classified documents, copies of which have been forwarded to the 
Congress, and the classified documents, approximately 900 in num- 
ber, are now being reviewed for declassification and are still being 
reviewed for their anal3^ic use. 

What we are learning from this research and our ongoing review 
of almost 30,000 pages of documents previously collected from the 
National Archives is helping us to resolve many of the apparent in- 
accuracies of the past and develop a much more accurate account- 
ing effort. 

The Defense POW/MIA Office is also working closely with the 
services and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory to 
formally launch a Korean war family outreach program. The pur- 
pose of this program is to restore contact with most of the over 100 
families concerned, obtain DNA samples from the appropriate fam- 
ily members, and create a DNA reference data base. This will pro- 
vide us a base to which we can compare samples from recovered 
remains, offering a much greater chance at making successful iden- 

This program also looks to the future by securing samples now 
so that even if the maternal line of the serviceman has ceased, the 
identification tool can be used whenever the serviceman's remains 
are recovered. 

Our investigation of unresolved reports of live Americans living 
in North Korea continues unabated. As I testified previously, one 
of the first initiatives launched by our Korea research analysis cell 
was to follow up on the series of reports, mostly hearsay, of alleged 
American POWs received prior to 1992. As a result of this effort, 
other reports surfaced, some new, others repeating earlier claims. 
We are currently using all available resources to help us substan- 
tiate these reports. 

For example, the information originally obtained from North Ko- 
rean defectors was due to our tasking of the intelligence system. 
Our office coordinates such taskings with all levels of the intel- 
ligence community. We also act through the State Department to 
contact foreign governments. 

In addition, we continue to aggressively canvas the former POW 
community for information that will help us learn what happened 
to their comrades. In July, for example, we interviewed over 110 
former POW's at the Korean War Ex-POW Association annual re- 
union in Chicago, gathering information on over 200 unaccounted 
for cases. 

The Department of Defense is determined not to let the daunting 
challenges facing us deter our efforts to succeed. As American mili- 
tary experts prepare to deploy into North Korea this month to 
begin the second joint recovery operation, they do so in a concerted 
effort to remember and respect the brave servicemen for whom 
they are searching and working to bring home after so many years. 


But as I hope this brief testimony illustrates, they represent only 
the most visible part of the most thorough effort since the end of 
the war to account for our missing American servicemen and, if 
possible, to bring them home. Thank you, sir. 

Mr. DORNAN. Thank you, Mr. Liotta. 

Mr. Liotta, could I ask you one question. It is not pejorative. I 
understand you were hired as an administrator with a good reputa- 
tion at the CIA. I just wanted to ask what your professional back- 
ground qualifications are in the analyst field, if any. 

Mr. Liotta. Yes, sir. I received an undergraduate degree from 
Wittenburg University in Springfield, OH. At that time, I was se- 
lected as 1 of 25 students selected nationally in a competition to 
go to the People's Republic of China and study at Beijing Univer- 
sity in the first annual exchange program after normalization of re- 
lations with China. 

Mr. DoRNAN. Do you speak Mandarin Chinese? 

Mr. Liotta. Yes, sir. 

Mr. DORNAN. Excellent. 

Mr. Liotta. After I returned from that, I graduated from 
Wittenburg and I earned a master's degree from George Washing- 
ton University in national security politics and Asian studies at the 
Sino-Soviet Institute in the School of Public and International Af- 

After that, I came on board with the CIA in the Directorate of 
Intelligence. I was an analyst there for 12 years, an analyst and 
a manager, serving as the principal analyst on China and manager 
on China and also all of Asia except for Japan. I did all of South- 
east Asia and also Korea. 

Mr. DORNAN. But a principal emphasis on China. 

Mr. Liotta. Initially on China. I was hired for my China exper- 
tise, yes. 

Mr. DORNAN. That is a great background. Can I just ask you a 
question about your birth, only because I am thinking of Dave 
Hrdlicka in 1965, May of 1965. When were you bom? 

Mr. Liotta. October 9, 1959. 

Mr. DORNAN. Fifty-nine, so you were 6 years old when Dave was 
shot down. 

Mr. Destatte, do you have a written statement, sir? 

Mr. Destatte. No, sir, but I am prepared to answer questions. 

Mr. DORNAN. Do you have a written statement, Mr. Kass? 

Mr. Kass. No, sir. I am prepared to answer your questions. 

Mr. DoRNAN. And Commander Beck, do you have a written state- 

Mr. Beck. No, sir. I do not have a written statement but I am 
prepared to answer your questions. 

Mr. DORNAN. Let us just dig right into the tough stuff here. Since 
I had you join the first panel — ^your colleagues may not know this, 
Mr. Beck, because I wanted your analysis of something we had 
seen here, I would like to turn that tape recorder sideways, if we 
have a jet pilot or a technician that can do it. 

We have the tape from General Kalugin and the interview with 
a courageous young wife and mother, Deborah Robertson, who, 
when she got into her thirties, decided it was time to find out what 
happened to her dad and she was hurt badly by a disinformation 


program, by cowardly thieves in the Phnom Penh area, go into the 
library and taking a book out of four Soviet farmers with the mous- 
taches in the Caucasus and portraying them as American POWs, 
and she bought that, unfortunately, from alpha to omega. 

Congressman David Drier was involved with the family because 
some of them live in his district and I warned him this would hap- 
pen. It so burned him, he lost interest in this issue, even though 
he had been to Hanoi with me in 1985. 

Tragically, Deborah was hit with the flu and died as a young 
mother in her 30's, and it is a tragedy, but you see her on her own, 
under her own initiative, interviewing Gen. Oleg Kalugin and it is 
a fascinating piece of tape. Is it ready to go? 

Mr. Beck. Congressman? 

Mr. DoRNAN. Yes? 

Mr. Beck. I would like to amend my last statement. I do not 
have a written statement to make, but after this is over, I would 
like to make a verbal statement, if I could. 

Mr. DORNAN. Certainly. I have questions for all of you. 

First of all, I want to ask a very tough one. Commander Beck, 
are you being eased out of DPMO? Are you being fired, cashiered, 
dumped, taken off active duty? 

Mr. Beck. Mr. Kass, who is sitting here next to me, is 

Mr. DoRNAN. He is your immediate supervisor? 

Mr. Beck. He is my immediate supervisor. He asked me to come 
back for 2 years, if I would do it. I volunteered yes, and I am not 
coming back. 

Mr. DORNAN. Wait a minute. Your supervisor, who is head of 

Mr. Beck. The Joint Commission Support Directorate. 

Mr. DORNAN. The Joint Commission Support Directorate asked 
you if you would stay on active duty for two more years. You are 
a commercial artist. There are other things you could do 

Mr. Beck. Absolutely. 

Mr. DORNAN. And more money to be made in the outside world. 
But you are not being picked up. Some reservists are, but you are 

Mr. Beck. As far as I know, none of us that work for Mr. Kass 
are being brought back in his directorate here at the headquarters 
level. That is seven of us, about 40 percent of his staff. 

Mr. DORNAN. Wow. Then let me start with Mr. Kass, and I will 
build up at the end to your interview in Israel, Mr. Kass. Please 
describe your professional background qualifications and your job 
position with DPMO and — I wonder why they did not use the acro- 
njrm, DPMLAO, to get that word "action" in there, which I saw for 
the first time today. Could you please give your background and 
your background, how long you have been head of the Joint Com- 
mission Support Directorate? 

Mr. Kass. I would be glad to. I have been around since 1945, not 
1959, so I am afraid my bio is a bit longer than Mr. Liotta's. I have 
experience in the Army. I served in Vietnam as a military intel- 
ligence officer. I served in Utrang, Vietnam, in 1970-71. 

My background, I have two master's degrees in international af- 
fairs from Columbia University and a degree in Slavic linguistics 
from the University of Pennsylvania. I have been with the Depart- 
ment of Defense for the past 13 years. I worked issues related to 


the transfer of sensitive dual use technology to the Soviet bloc for 
8 years. I am sure you know the names, Richard Pearl. We were 
directly involved in representing DOD's concerns on dual use 

Mr. DORNAN. Do you speak Russian, Mr. Kass? 

Mr. Kass. Yes, I do, sir. And for the past 4-plus years, I have 
been with the Defense POW/MIA Office and its predecessor group 
within the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The Joint Commis- 
sion Support Directorate has been in operation as that entity for 
the past 2 years and I have been its head during that period. 

I am also — I wear a second hat as the executive secretary of the 
United States-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIA's, which fol- 
lowed from the Senate Select Committee hearings, was established 
in March of 1992. 

Mr. DORNAN. So you have worked with Ambassador Malcolm 
Toone and Congressmen Sam Johnson and Pete Peterson? 

Mr. Kass. Yes, sir. That is correct, among others. 

Mr. DORNAN. How many trips have you gone to the Soviet Union 
with them? Not all of your trips funded as Directorate, but how 
many with the two Congressmen? 

Mr. Kass. I have been on at least a dozen trips with the Commis- 
sion and I have been on a number of other trips in connection with 
specific investigations, apart from the Commission. 

Mr. DORNAN. Another excellent background. I know Mr. 
Destatte's background, 20 years active duty and analyst for years 
after that, and also a Vietnamese language speaker. We will get to 
yours in a minute, Mr. Beck. 

You and Mr. Beck were in the room, I believe, all day long, since 
12 noon, right? So you saw the Kalugin tape? 

Mr. Beck. Yes, sir. 

Mr. DORNAN. So I do not have to run the tape for you, but I want 
to run it for Mr. Liotta and Mr. Destatte. What is your impression, 
as we are waiting for the tape to come back, what was your impres- 
sion of the Kalugin tape? What was the first time you saw it? In 
other words, when did you first see it, because I have a feeling this 
tape was at DPMO for several years, maybe, a couple of years since 
the young Mrs. Robertson, Debbie Robertson conducted this civilian 
family member interview of a top KGB general, but yet it was 
never shown to you or anybody in the JCSD. What did you think 
of the tape? 

Mr. Beck. I thought it was very interesting. As I mentioned ear- 
lier on, with my background in the clandestine service, I look at 
things a little differently than the usual analyst. I look at it from 
a covert operator. There are a lot of things that General Kalugin 
was sa3dng in that brief tape that I found amazing. There are some 
nuances that I think were very interesting and there might have 
even been one statement there that was a defensive mechanism, 
that if you could talk to him in private sometime and ever get him 
to tell the truth — now, I know we have talked to him before, but 
I found that to be one of the most revealing comments I have ever 
heard him make. 

Mr. DORNAN. Mr. Kass, could you give us your impression? 

Mr. Kass. We spoke with Oleg Kalugin in Moscow 

Mr. DoRNAN. You personally? 


Mr. Kass. Not I personally. People from our office in Moscow — 
the group was then called Task Force Russia — spoke with Kalugin 
in Moscow, who provided us snippets of information on the POW 
question, none of which ever allowed us to follow lead through to 
conclusion. The information that he shares with you here on the 
tape is information that I personally was not aware of. The tape 
itself, I viewed for the first time perhaps 2 weeks ago and the ref- 
erences he makes to what the Vietnamese asked of the Soviets for 
advice or the transfer of Americans into the Soviet Union from 
Korea is not information I knew of from Kalugin until I saw that 

Mr. DORNAN. Did it shock you? 

Mr. Kass. It did not shock me, no, sir. 

Mr. DORNAN. Why not? 

Mr. Kass. Because I believe, as a number of us do, that the ques- 
tion of transfers from the Soviet Union or into the Soviet Union 
from their theaters of military operation is a very much unresolved 
one. None of us dealing with it directly, I think, would find it un- 
usual to hear comments like that. 

Mr. DoRNAN. Other defectors say that Mr. Kalugin has about 100 
times more information than what he has divulged so far but that 
he hopes to get back into the political system in his country, and 
certainly they need intelligent leaders and people who have mas- 
tered English as he has, but there are probably others like Ugenich 
Permikov who would just as soon he fell into circumstances termi- 
nating his life. 

Describe, Mr. Kass, the kind of support that you get from the 
rest of DPMO in general for your particular JCSD. It is a tough 
question, but we are all under oath here. 

Mr. Kass. We have found that within the work we do within 
JCSD, there are some distinctive features of our operation that are 
not reflected in some of the other activities of the office overall. Our 
program consists of people in Moscow who go out in an operational 
or an investigative environment, together with Russian counter- 
parts, to try to get information from the people who have become 
known to us through ads that we placed, through word of mouth, 
et cetera. That makes this a bit different from what goes on else- 
where in the organization. I think it is fair to say we are the only 
ones with an operational or an investigative focus that involves 
field support within the organization. 

Many of the people within DPMO have a background in the POW 
issue which focuses on Southeast Asia. Geographically, our focus is 
broader than that, because the areas that we look at in support of 
the United States-Russia Joint Commission encompass not only the 
war in Southeast Asia but the losses during the cold war period, 
during the Korean war and World War II. So both in terms of time 
and in terms of geography, we are broader. We have a wider man- 
date, let us say, than other functions in the office. 

As far as actual support goes, I can tell you that I personally am 
not — I would not say that I was pleased with the speed at which 
it took to get the personnel that we need to do the job in place sup- 
porting our work. We have had to rely very heavily on reservists 
and what that has meant is a great deal of time lost in tr3dng to 


get the respective services to support our program with quahfied 

Mr. DORNAN. And you still have 11 slots unfilled? Maybe I 
should ask Mr. Liotta that. You are allocated 100 slots and you 
have 89 filled? 

Mr. Kass. Right now, our directorate has a total of 17 or 18 au- 
thorized positions 

Mr. DORNAN. Within the 89 at DPMO? 

Mr. Kass. Yes, sir, and that includes the number of people we 
have in the office in Moscow. At the moment, of those 17 or 18, we 
have all but three positions filled. 

Mr. DORNAN. Do you have reservists in Moscow now? 

Mr. Kass. We have two reservists in Moscow, someone from the 
Army Language School in Garmish and a civilian employee who di- 
rects the operation there, a total of four people. 

Mr. DORNAN. Have you ever felt — this is a tough question — have 
you ever felt blindsided at DPMO, that you are not getting all the 
information or support you need when you have been tiying to 
work initiatives? 

Mr. Kass. I believe that the work within the office overall in 
terms of coordination can always be improved and I think that 
more, much more, in fact, should be done to make sure that what 
we are doing is consistent with what else is going on. 

Mr. DORNAN. Did you know, and I do not know how you would 
know this, but did you know, over my 20-year career here, I have 
tried to always enlarge the size and the financial resources of 
whatever entity was doing what DPMO does now? 

Mr. Kass. I am aware of your efforts. 

Mr. DoRNAN. I am going to give you the chance of a lifetime. 
What is wrong with DPMO, in your viewpoint? Why is there this 
hostility with the families and what do you think needs to be done 
to improve its effectiveness? I asked General Wald to read the 
Mike Peck resignation letter. I asked him to read the Clapper-initi- 
ated, three-star General Clapper-initiated studies. I asked him to 
analyze where this expression, the mindset to debunk came from, 
and since debunking is discrediting bunk or lives or bunko, I have 
changed it to a predisposition to discredit and dismiss. The more 
I get involved, the more confrontational it becomes between this 
chairman and what DPMO is doing. 

So please, Mr. Kass, tell me, what could be done to improve 
DPMO besides more money and more slots? Let us say we have a 
budgetary freeze. You are not going to get any more dollars. You 
have travel money available. You are not going to get any more 
than the 89. Say we take away the 11 unfilled slots. What are your 
recommendations to make DPMO exercise more Sherlock Holmes 
imagination, less talk about, well, that is hearsay, forget it, and 
more aggressive investigating, considering that you sat through 
General Sejna, Joe Douglass, Phil Corso, and these men are not 
unreliable, senile people just blabbering on. 

You heard Colonel Corso and Sejna say they would take sodium 
pentothal in addition to the polygraph test that General Sejna has 
already passed without deception, according to General Clapper. 
Please answer. What can we do to improve DPMO? 


Mr. Kass. First of all, I do not think improvement is necessarily 
measured in terms of additional dollars. I think the approach that 
needs to be taken is one of insisting on an aggressive approach 
with maximum openness to the families and to the people we serve. 
Obviously, there are areas that we deal with, there are ongoing in- 
vestigations that are sensitive. We cannot come out immediately 
and share everything with the public as we might like. But to the 
maximum extent that that can be done, we should endeavor to do 

As far as approach, people we bring onboard, I think the ap- 
proach of the directorate and the office needs to be one which em- 
phasizes the fact that there are many open, unresolved issues that 
we do not have answers for and that the approach should be not 
that we know the outcomes or have written the final line but that 
we are looking in new ways. We are reexamining positions taken 
before to see if we could perhaps move things along and bring them 
to resolution. 

Mr. DORNAN. Could you name a couple of issues? 

Mr. Kass. From what I observed and heard the first part of the 
afternoon, a great deal of discussion, both by General Sejna and 
Colonel Corso concerned what they knew about the transfer of 
Americans into the Soviet Union. In the case of Corso, it was pri- 
marily Korea. In the case of General Sejna, it was both Korea and 

We have grappled with the question of transfers during those 
conflicts for the entire period that I have been in this office. We 
had struggled with trying to get cooperation from the Russians and 
access to archives and written documentation over there, and 
frankly, it has not been a cakewalk to try to get documents on this 
side of the pond in terms of the holdings within the various ar- 
chives of the United States Government. 

Mr. DORNAN. For example, NSA? 

Mr. Kass. NSA has been extremely useful and informative with 
regard to 10 cold-war-loss incidents that we have examined in the 
office and through the Joint Commission. We stumbled, literally 
stumbled upon that information and that basically became the 
backbone of our investigation. 

With regard to other things that NSA may have, frankly, I do not 
have at this point an assessment of what is there. Much of that 
material has been untapped. 

Mr. DoRNAN. Please give me a vague answer to this, since we are 
in open session, but are unconventional means needed, do you 
think, to pursue some of these cases? 

Mr. Kass. I think it is a mistake to put all of our faith and trust 
in what is going to come out of the work that we do in this partner- 
ship through the Joint Commission. I do believe that we need to 
complement what we are doing with the Russians with an aggres- 
sive program over here that goes after documentary evidence and 
that tries to locate individuals who could provide us additional 
clues. If that is called an unconventional program or not, I defer 
on that. I just believe it has to be implemented if we are going to 
make a good-faith effort to do our work. 

Mr. DORNAN. Not being a trained analyst but having been an in- 
telligence officer at the user level, at the squadron level in the Air 


Force and having common sense and, from what tests showed me 
in my youth, a high IQ, I asked certain obvious questions of Gen- 
eral Sejna and he said he would be willing to do them and they 
involved unconventional means to identify targets of opportunity to 
get to the bottom of this. 

Congressman Ron Lewis of Kentucky said that it was earth- 
shaking, what he heard here today. You heard most of it. Did you 
find anything in todays testimony that, as a trained analyst, you 
were jolted by, that you just wanted to reject out of hand? Let us 
start with Colonel Corso on Korea, hundreds of wounded men or 
mentally disturbed men held behind within 10 miles of Panmun- 
jom, never to see the light of freedom again. Anything that he said 
that you said, "Well, that cannot be," to yourself? 

Mr. Kass. I had the pleasure of listening to the testimony back 
in 1991-92 and I am aware of some of the comments. I heard Colo- 
nel Corso at that time in open testimony. I do not know that any- 
one has a definitive answer on numbers, how many were held 
where or, from our particular vantage point, how many were taken 
into the Soviet Union. I do believe that I certainly have come to 
the conclusion that this is an area where there may very well have 
been a transfer of Americans. 

Mr. DORNAN. I wish Mr. Liotta and Mr. Destatte were here. At 
your next corporate board meeting, please pass on to them — hope- 
fully, you will read the testimony — it is stunning. It is mind blow- 
ing. He sat right here in front of me, where Mr. Kass is seated 
now, and said he personally saw dazed, confused young Americans 
being led around like sheep in Prague on their way to the Soviet 
Union, to break the trail from Vietnam to the Soviet Union. That 
was General Sejna. 

Was there anything that General Sejna said, other than its 
shocking nature, that you had not learned from the temporary Sen- 
ate committee that closed its doors in December 1992? 

Mr. Kass. General Sejna, when he explained to you how the se- 
lection was made among the various groups for testing, presented 
remarks or insights that track very closely with information we ob- 
tained from other sources which talked, for example, about a pro- 
gram to differentiate enlisted from officer ranks, to separate out Af- 
rican-Americans from whites, educated from less so. These are 
practices that we have come across in other writings and I consider 
those sorts of observations for that reason to be very credible. 

Mr. DoRNAN. Have you, in your background reading, studied the 
infamous demonic Unit 731 in Harbin, Manchuria, how they sepa- 
rated by race? 

Mr. Kass. No, sir, not that particular one. 

Mr. DoRNAN. Mr. Kass, will you do me a favor? There is a book 
over at the Library of Congress called Unit 731. I would rec- 
ommend all of you get it and read it as we try to pursue the truth 
on this. 

I would also recommend what I said in the past session, that any 
young officer, any young captain, major, or lieutenant colonel, lieu- 
tenant senior grade, anybody who comes to your unit, you should 
ask them to read this book, POW 1976. I do not know how anybody 
can work at DPMO without reading this book and using it as a 


I did some research on the Hst of the 591 returned and found 
that at least two people were known alive, and this would have 
been before the 1968 escape of Nikro in the South, but two people, 
Thompson and Alvarez, were in captivity in 1964. In 1965, 62 more 
were added plus Frederick, who died of cholera at Dogpatch on the 
Chinese border and Ron Storts, who was a particularly effective pa- 
triot in their face, resisting being used. So that would be 64, plus 
the two, 66, in 1965, and then 86 more were added on the returnee 
list that were shot down in 1966, including two more. Norm 
Schmidts, who disappeared in the system, and James J. Connell, 
who was a very effective resistor until the Cubans and others broke 

So, as of New Year's Eve in 1966, when the aforementioned evil 
war criminal Robert McNamara was convinced that we could no 
longer win the war but was grinding up better men than he in that 
meat grinder. We had 154 that we knew of in captivity in the 
North and God knows how many in the South. After doing all that 
research, I find a notation in the book that says, by March 1967, 
when LBJ started his erratic and near-criminal bombing pauses, 
we had 178 POW's. 

Now, I find one problem with General Sejna's testimony and it 
is the arithmetic, the numbers. If people were coming through 
Prague on their way to the Soviet Union at the numbers he says 
in the early 1960's, way before we had the two in 1964, the 62 in 
1965, and the 86 added in 1966, plus the four, 154, the numbers 
are stunning unless they were drawing people from the secret war 
in Laos, and I have tried to read as many books as I could on the 
so-called secret war in Laos underrun with the Commander in 
Chief, a civilian ambassador, first in the serious part of the fight- 
ing, Sullivan, Ambassador Sullivan, and then Gene McMurtry 
Godley, who I visited with in his home in 1971. 

But even there, it seems to me that we would find the documents 
of how many people were captured in that effort, civilian and mili- 
tary, to try and reconcile it with the numbers that General Sejna 
gave us. So, I would hope that you would please look at that, since 
that is under your Russian field of study with your Joint Commis- 

Could you describe — wait a minute. Let me just come back to 
this. So there is nothing in today's testimony that you take imme- 
diate exception to with Mr. Veith or Bill Bell or the first panel? 

Mr. Kass. I cannot address Mr. Bell's testimony because I am 
frankly not familiar with the program that was run in Hanoi. 

Mr. DORNAN. Have you heard folklore, though, about how we 
were in their government buildings, they were bugged, they in- 
stalled our telephones, they installed our facsimile equipment, they 
listened in on everything, they manipulated us, manipulated the 
whole operation? Have you not heard folklore about that in Viet- 

Mr. Kass. I have heard folklore about it and it tracks what goes 
on in the Soviet Union, as well. 

Mr. DORNAN. Exactly. On the Hrdlicka Loboda interview — is 
Loboda still alive? 

Mr. Kass. Yes. Loboda is alive. 


Mr. DORNAN. The other joumahst that was there with him has 
died, right? 

Mr. Kass. Yes. 

Mr. DoRNAN. But Carol HrdUcka, his wife, the joumahst who 
has died wrote to Carol Hrdlicka? 

Mr. Kass. The widow wrote to Carol Hrdlicka. The gentleman's 
name is Schedwin, by the way, the one who passed away. 

Mr. DORNAN. Schedwin, that is right. Tony Litvinas, would you 
raise your hand? 

Mr. Litvinas. Yes, sir. 

Mr. DoRNAN. Thank you, Tony. I just wanted to identify you. The 
two of you went over there. You do not have to come to the table 
yet, but you might, Tony, if you want to add anything. If you are 
burning to add something, maybe your boss can — or you, because 
you are from two different directorates there. You are from re- 
search and 

Mr. Litvinas. The same mission, sir. 

Mr. DORNAN. The same mission, though. Do you believe when 
Mr. Loboda told you, and I am getting this from Carol Hrdlicka, 
I used to tease then-Captain Hrdlicka about his high cheekbones 
that in his family tree were Mongol invaders. Probably were if you 
look at Slavic people, Polish people, and Dave was 100 percent Pol- 
ish, I believe, Polish American. Was it Mr. Loboda or the deceased 
journalist who said he remembered thinking that Colonel Hrdlicka 
had Slavic features? 

Mr. Kass. He told us in Jerusalem when we interviewed him 
that what stood out in his recollection of the person he saw in 1969 
were the Slavic features of the face. 

Mr. DoRNAN. When you two gentlemen were coming back, long 
flights coming home, did you rehash some of this, of what you had 
heard, this testimony you had taken in the holy city of Jerusalem? 

Mr. Kass. Yes. We did talk about it some. 

Mr. DORNAN. DPMO at that point had decided, kind of cor- 
porately, I guess, that Hrdlicka was already dead, so these two So- 
viet journalists had seen someone else. Am I correct on that? 

Mr. Kass. Do you want to answer that? 

Mr. DoRNAN. Tony, maybe you had better come up here, or just 
lean forward. 

Mr. Litvinas. I really cannot speak to that, but if I can just offer, 
by way of background 

Mr. Dornan. Please. 

Mr. Litvinas. I have been in the organization for a year and the 
reason I went on the trip is, by way of history, I have spent, grow- 
ing up in Southeast Asia 

Mr. Dornan. Missionary parents or something? 

Mr. Litvinas. No, foreign aid, sir. 

Mr. Dornan. Foreign aid? 

Mr. Litvinas. I spent 1964 and 1965 in Saigon- 

Mr. Dornan. Oh, you meant growing up professionally? 

Mr. Litvinas. No; with the family. I spent about 10 years on and 
off in Laos, from 1965 through 1975. One of the initial reports from 
Mr. Loboda was the description of Vihn Chen in 1969, and frankly, 
I know about every street in that city, and so from my own per- 
sonal familiarity, I went along. 


Professionally, I am a retired Army officer, foreign area officer in 

Mr. DORNAN. I have been there four times and visited with 
Sotpetrosi in that little house in the middle of town. I have banged 
on the door there of the Soviet Embassy, the Chinese Embassy, 
which was off by itself by that little stream, and Mr. Sotpetrosi, in 
the presence of four POW wives, told me in January of 1970 — Clin- 
ton was returning from his triumphant trip through Scandinavia, 
Leningrad, Moscow, and Prague — we were arrested at the airport, 
came through India, Vietnam, Cambodia, and went up to Vihn 
Chen and Mr. Sotpetrosi told me — told the wives, I was sitting 
there — that we have lO's of lO's of prisoners, and I stopped, be- 
cause I was a journalist. I said, "Tens of tens is 100." "Yes. We 
have about 100," he said. That would jive with the 300 that were 
missing by that time, roughly. 

So I know Vihn Chen, that people would have no concept in 
America today of the international flavor of this little dirt street 
town with its big triumphal Arch de Triumph, smaller scale, but 
the cosmopolitan atmosphere there, the Cuban cigars at the long- 
gone hotel. The whole scene there was something right out of 
"Terry and the Pirates". So I understand what you mean when you 
say you know every street. 

Mr. LiTVlNAS. Back to your question, I have no preconceived no- 
tions about what happened to Colonel Hrdlicka and I think 

Mr. DORNAN. Mr. Loboda said he interviewed Hrdlicka in Vihn 

Mr. LiTVlNAS. The initial report was that that is where he saw 
him, yes, sir. Subsequent to that, in our interview, he retracted 
that statement and on the third occasion he said that the interview 
took place in the outskirts of the city to our drive from the caves 
of the liberated zone. But there is also a third journalist that was 
on that trip and we just recently — Mr. Kass' folks in Moscow finally 
located him and interviewed him in Kiev and we just recently re- 
ceived the report of that interview. 

Mr. DORNAN. Within the last few days? 

Mr. LiTVlNAS. September 11, is the date of the report, yes, sir. 

Mr. DORNAN. Obviously, since this is my closest friend in the 
military, I have an interest. 

Mr. LiTVlNAS. Yes, sir. I just 

Mr. DORNAN. Does it confirm or throw a cloud over the Loboda 

Mr. LiTVlNAS. There is conflicting views of what happened, yes, 

Mr. DORNAN. By location of interview or what? 

Mr. LiTVlNAS. What happened, whether there was a prisoner 
there or no prisoner. 

Mr. DORNAN. All right. We will take that up later. 

Mr. LiTVlNAS. The point is, we have not gone forward yet with 
a finished assessment because we are still in the information gath- 
ering stage. We located a third journalist, a guy who is 

Mr. DORNAN. Right. That would take care of my next question, 
because I was going to say. If it was not then-Captain Hrdlicka, 
who was it, and when you came back, you ran a test, I assume, to 
see if there was anybody else from that timeframe who went down 


in Laos with or without Slavic features who would have been inter- 
viewed, correct? 

Mr. LiTViNAS. Yes, sir. We ran it before we went. 

Mr. DORNAN. Before you went? And you got it down to how many 
names, a handful? 

Mr. LiTViNAS. Sir, I would have to — ^yes, sir. A handful. I would 
have to go back and check 

Mr. DORNAN. If I could, I would like to come over to DPMO and 
talk to you about this just personally, off the record, because of my 
interest in Hrdlicka. Thanks, Tony. 

Mr. Kass 

Mr. Kass. Yes, sir? 

Mr. DORNAN. Could you describe, and here is where it gets tense, 
Commander Beck's role in your directorate, JCSD, and your eval- 
uation of his skills and particularly his value to the POW/MIA in- 
vestigations? If you asked him, as Commander Beck said, to stay 
on for 2 years, you must have felt you needed his services as a spe- 
cial assistant. First, his skills, and then his value to resolving 
POW/MIA investigations. 

Mr. Kass. First, I should say that DPMO reached a decision at 
a recent meeting of the corporate board as to which reservists to 
invite to come back for renewed assignment and which to tell with 
this current assignment their responsibilities to DPMO would be 
over. There were a number of individuals in our directorate, in fact, 
a total of six, who were not asked to return because of the current 
personnel trends toward bringing on active duty personnel to re- 
place the reservists. 

Frankly, there is merit to that approach because reservists serve 
for a 6-month stint. Then they have to come off Reserve duty for 
a week or two before they are brought back. It creates a number 
of problems, this continuity for us. 

Mr. DORNAN. The 179-day Bosnian problem that we were run- 
ning into in operations over there. 

Mr. Kass. Yes. I was very interested in the possibility of having 
Commander Beck stay with us in the program because of what I 
believe to be — did then and do now believe to be, his unique skills 
and the experience that he brings, which, frankly, we do not have 
certainly within our directorate and I think it fair to say within 
DPMO overall. 

My idea was that we would, and I was unsuccessful in present- 
ing this view, obviously, because the decision went against it, to 
allow Commander Beck to come on board for more than simply 6 
months, for an extended period of whatever it is the Navy would 
have permitted so that he would have been able to be one of the 
people involved in investigative work to try to add that second di- 
mension to compliment what we are doing with the Joint Commis- 
sion and to launch some initiatives of our own within DPMO to tap 
into and explore individuals who may have information, docu- 
mentation that we may not have been able to put our hands on 
until now or up to now. This was the intent, to really begin an ini- 
tiative of our own within DPMO and I saw Commander Beck's role 
as being central to that. 

Mr. DORNAN. And you passed that on to General Wald, as the 


Mr. Kass. I passed it on to the corporate board at the time that 
the review is done of the people who were to be invited to return. 

Mr. DORNAN. I said earher in open session and I will say it 
again, I hate this title "corporate board", because in a corporate 
board situation, a board of directors, it is like blackballing. A cynic 
who has no Sherlock Holmes abilities and no feel for this issue can 
blackball somebody who does. Do you think Chip Beck has Sher- 
lock Holmes qualities, as opposed to a lawyer that would see every- 
thing in terms of hearsay, preparing to be Johnny Cochran in 

Mr. Kass. I think Sherlock Holmes precedes the cold war, so I 
do not know if I would use that analogy, but I think that Chip 
Beck has the investigative skills and the savvy that I think could 
have helped the program enormously. 

Mr. DORNAN. I want to ask you one more question here and then 
I want to go to Commander Beck. If you were given all the re- 
sources to investigate the really tough POW mysteries, and we 
heard some, again to quote Congressman Lewis, earthshaking 
statements here today about mysteries, do you think, as presently 
constituted, your group, the Joint Commission group, JCSD, do you 
think you have the resources and the talent, the background talent, 
to make any progress? And if your answer is in the negative, what 
is standing in your way? Can you make progress as constituted 

Mr. Kass. The answer is in the negative, and as far as making 
progress, I would tell you that if you want to be aggressive and you 
want to go out and explore areas, areas we have not looked into 
so far, that obviously would require bringing on board the people 
with the resolve to do that. We have some capable people. How- 
ever, as you know, personalities vary. Talents vary. You could be 
a very fine analyst. You can read and speak Russian very well. You 
may, even with that, not have the requisite skills to be out there 
as an investigator drumming up new leads. 

Mr. DORNAN. I have already asked you if there was anything in 
today's testimony that you disagreed with. Let me ask Commander 
Beck that. Anything today. General Sejna, Mr. Douglass, Joe Doug- 
lass, Col. Philip Corso, or Jay Veith or Bill Bell, was anything said 
today that gave you a tilt, that, well, this cannot be. This is too 
outrageous. This is too heartbreaking. 

Mr. Beck. No; it certainly did not. In fact, most of what I heard 
falls into the pattern that I think is perfectly logical when you look 
at the POW problem from what I consider to be a clandestine oper- 
ation directed against us since World War II. The patterns are 
there, the deception. 

When we spend a lot of time looking for bones and being archae- 
ologists to the exclusion of the strategic importance of what hap- 
pened to our men and how it was carried out against us, we lose 
a lot of, I think, the substance and the importance of what we 
should be doing. 

Mr. DORNAN. Let me go up the chain of command. Let me start 
with you as a reservist but with, as your ribbons indicate, years 
and years of experience, and you and I have talked about your ex- 
perience working against the Cubans on several continents, par- 


ticularly in a lot of African nations. Let me go right up the chain 
of command here. 

Do you beheve that we left live Americans behind in Korea, from 
what you have heard today or from your own analysis before? 

Mr. Beck. From my analysis, and this is my opinion, perhaps, 
I do not know that it is accepted by everybody in DPMO, but it is 
beyond just Korea. I have found documents that indicate that 
maybe 6,000 or 7,000 Americans could have been transferred to the 
Soviet gulag in World War II, and I think that is important be- 
cause that is where the operations began, the operations to deceive 

I have interviewed Colonel Corso down in Florida. I find him to 
be very credible. 

Mr. DORNAN. You were sent down there by DPMO? 

Mr. Beck. Correct; by Mr. Kass. I believe that whatever the 
number is, whether there are 200, 400, 900, or more, I believe in 
my heart that American POW's were transferred to the Soviet 
Union in Korea. 

Mr. DORNAN. How about Vietnam? 

Mr. Beck. In between Vietnam, in the cold war. I mean, you 
have to remember that we were not acknowledging some of the 
things we were doing to the Soviet Union during the cold war in 
terms of our penetration of their airspace. Therefore, they were not 
obligated to let us know or even acknowledge that they had some 
of our men that may have been captured alive. I do not know the 
details on those things. Those are questions that need not only to 
be asked but to be pursued. 

In Vietnam, yes; I think some Americans were transferred to the 
Soviet Union. This is not classified because it was given to me free- 
ly at my house. As you mentioned earlier, Victor Blenko, the MiG 
pilot, is a very good friend of mine. Not too long ago, about a year 
ago, he brought along a friend who has not been out of that envi- 
ronment anywhere near as long. 

Mr. DORNAN. Twenty years for Blenko this month, 1976. 

Mr. Beck. Twenty years for Blenko and much, much less for this 
other person. 

Mr. DoRNAN. The 200th birthday party for the United States, he 
brought us a MiG— 25. 

Mr. Beck. Yes. But this other person was sitting in my house 
and we were talking about prisoners of war in Southeast Asia and 
I said, did GRU, the Soviet military intelligence for the KGB, ever 
have a program to exploit our POW's in Vietnam? He looked at me 
like I was nuts. He said, "Chip, of course we had it and we were 
successful." He said, "We were successful." 

Mr. DORNAN. So your answer 

Mr. Beck. Yes, and he talked to somebody. He gave us a name 
of someone who had witnessed the transfer of approximately five 
or six 

Mr. DoRNAN. Let me come back to that. I want to go up the 
chain of command here. Mr. Kass, by seniority, because Mr. 
Destatte is senior to you in tenure with DPMO. By the way, I am 
not going to refer to it as "dipmo" ever again. I do not know where 
I got that name, but I do not like the sound of dip. If you call it 
DPMO, I am going to call it DPMO. 


Do you believe, before or after today, that we left Americans be- 
hind, wounded or otherwise, in Korea and then Vietnam? 

Mr. Kass. I believe from a number of reports that we have so far 
not been able to substantiate, but a steady flow of information that 
there is a very strong possibility that there were Americans taken 
into the Soviet Union during the entire period following World War 

Mr. DORNAN. All the way up through Vietnam? 

Mr. Kass. All the way up through Vietnam. 

Mr. DORNAN. Mr. Destatte, do you believe — you did not hear the 
testimony today, but I am sure you have read the earlier General 
Sejna reports and the Corso reports came across your desk, right, 
from Commander Beck. Who went down there, by the way, with 

Mr. Beck. Captain Kevin Smith, U.S. Air Force. 

Mr. DORNAN. Is he here today? 

Mr. Smith. Yes, sir. 

Mr. DoRNAN. Yes. 

Mr. Beck. Yes; he is. 

Mr. DoRNAN. I may ask him if he believes Colonel Corso was 
credible. Do you have an intelligence background. Captain Smith? 

[Mr. Smith nodded yes.l 

Mr. DoRNAN. Mr. Destatte, do you believe or have you ever had 
a gut feeling that we left wounded Americans or otherwise, techni- 
cians, behind in Korea? 

Mr. Destatte. Sir, I have not studied the Korean war in enough 
depth to even have an opinion on that. Some of my colleagues have 
made persuasive arguments. 

Mr. DoRNAN. That is a fair answer. How about Vietnam, given 
your experience in Hanoi, or even a handful in Laos? Let me make 
it Indochina. 

Mr. Destatte. Well, it is difficult to give a brief answer to that. 

Mr. DoRNAN. I know. 

Mr. Destatte. Over the years, the Joint Casualty Resolution 
Center and later the Joint Task Force full accounting and in the 
field and the Defense Intelligence Agency's POW/MLA office and 
now the DPMO here have studied this issue very, very carefully 
and, as you know, they have gone through a case-by-case review 
more than once, both from an analytical point of view and field in- 
vestigations in Vietnam, and you are familiar with some of the 
lists. But the most important of those lists, of course, is the, var- 
iously called the last-known-alive list, the discrepancy list, et 

I feel that the analysts collectively did a good job in selecting the 
cases where there was some reasonable question about the fate of 
the individual. I do not recall the number precisely. I think it was 
196 men were named on that list and we set about investigating 
those cases and some of those cases have been investigated several 
times. Today, we feel confident that we know the fate of all but ap- 
proximately 50 of those men, and I really should rephrase that. 

Those judgments have been subjected to a rigorous review and 
those judgments have been confirmed or affirmed in that review 
process. There are approximately 50 cases remaining and many of 
those cases, we are waiting on one last interview, finding one last 


source. But if we look at those cases individually, we will find it. 
In most of those cases, reasonable men and women looking at the 
evidence of the case will agree that the person died. 

So as you mentioned earlier, somehow you have to make the 
arithmetic work and the arithmetic does not work. My belief is that 
the information that we have available to us today tells us that we 
did not leave anybody behind in Vietnam at the end of the war. 

Mr. DORNAN. Let me help you with a few caveats there, and the 
exception may prove what you are sa3ring, but we left Tucker 
Guggleman to be tortured to death in a Saigon jail in June of 1976. 

Mr. Destatte. Yes, sir. 

Mr. DORNAN. You are talking about 

Mr. Destatte. I am talking about the Americans who became 
missing during the conflict, during the years of conflict. Now, actu- 
ally, there were 70 Americans who were stranded there or chose to 
remain there at the end of April 1975. Tucker Guggleman was one 
of those who was stranded there, and yes, he died in Chehwah 
Prison and we have talked to quite a number of people who have — 
including some Korean diplomats who were in that prison at the 
same time — who have given us fair accounts of what happened to 
Tucker Guggleman. 

Mr. DoRNAN. I am going to ask Mr. Liotta to go to General Wald 
at the request of this committee — I will do it open, right now — and 
investigate the B— 52 pilot or crewman who was shot down in De- 
cember 1972 during the noncarpet bombing, non-Christmas Day 
bombing from December 11 to December 29, minus Christmas Day, 
who said he saw somebody in a photograph that he thought was 
Glen Cobeil sitting catatonic on a bench in the comer of Heart- 
break, because if that is true, then Cobeil and Connell and Ken 
Cameron were still alive in 1973. We know they were taken away 
from the annex that is a zoo in the spring of 1970. But if they were 
alive, then we left those three behind. 

Now, you are well aware, Mr. Destatte, because of your combat 
record in that area, that — so please do that for me, Mr. Liotta. Ask 
General Wald. You can take it on as a task, if you choose. 

I got it from what you gentlemen sent me, the whole packet on 
Glen Cobeil, pictures of him with his family. When I went back and 
cross-referenced the book "POW," the Vietnamese, to try and bring 
him out of his catatonic state, gave him pictures of that beautiful 
family, Patty, his son, Jeffrey, and his daughter, and the POW's 
pinned the pictures up on his wall and they said never once did 
any of his roommates who were force feeding him and sometimes 
hand feeding him ever see him look up at the pictures of his beau- 
tiful family. 

One of the men who was tortured by the Cubans to make one 
of the broadcasts about the immoral imperialistic war, a Navy 
radar intercept officer, Larry Spencer, certainly was courageous in 
the way he hand fed and, more than any other prisoner, personally 
took care of every bodily need of Earl Cobeil during his worst mo- 

But you know from your own experience in Indochina that Rich- 
ard Nixon and Henry Kissinger kept bombing Laos from January 
27, when Harley Hall was the last man shot down, his reel came 


back from his F-4, that all the way through February, March, 
April, May, June, July, and August, we kept bombing the hell out 
of Laos while Kissinger expected them to send any prisoners they 
had through Hanoi, through the Hanoi prison system. 

When Nixon got the 10 back in 1973, I had just turned 40 years 
of age and I was tracking this carefully, 8 trips to Vietnam, many 
to the CIL in Hawaii, I could not believe that Nixon had the gall, 
or staffers had the gall to misadvise him that all the prisoners 
were home from Laos. All? Well, 9 out of 10, except for Ernie 
Brace, who had been held for 3 weeks at Dien Bien Phu, at the 
prison there. They all were handed over within 24 hours, if not im- 
mediately captured by North Vietnamese. They were North Viet- 
nam, Hanoi, or the six satellite camps, they were North Vietnam- 
ese prisoners. Translation: Nobody came home from Laos. Nobody 
came home from Laos. 

I see former POW Mike Benge is already nodding in affirmation. 
So I knew Nixon was making a historically outrageous and tragic 
statement. When you say that the arithmetic does not add up, you 
are talking about Vietnam, right, not Laos? 

Mr. Destatte. Primarily about Vietnam. I can speak with less 
confidence about Vietnam, but — or, pardon me, about Laos. I want- 
ed to close my statement by pointing out that we do not have all 
the answers. Certainly, in some of the cases, we could be less posi- 
tive than others. But it is very difficult to summarize this in a 
short statement without — and I would be happy to give you some- 
thing in writing later. 

But when we look at what happened in the case of the Ameri- 
cans who did come home from Laos, and there were several Ameri- 
cans who were picked up — several dozen Americans who were cap- 
tured in South Vietnam who moved through Laos to Hanoi, when 
we look at the amount of information that we collected over the 
course of the war, I think it was somewhere in the order of a quar- 
ter of a million prisoners, ralliers, refugees from Communist-con- 
trolled areas. We had millions of captured documents. We had hun- 
dreds of thousands of signal intercepts. We had a massive collec- 
tion effort. 

Mr. DORNAN. Excuse me 1 second, Mr. Destatte. You were not in 
the room here when Mr. Veith and Mr. — well, mainly Mr. Veith 
testified. There are boxes and boxes and boxes, reams of NSA inter- 
cepts that are superior to human intelligence that you have not 

Mr. Destatte. Sir, I was 1 of the 98 people who opened the sig- 
nal intelligence collection effort in Vietnam. In 1961, I and two 
other gentlemen, a Vietnamese and an American, were sneaking 
around War Zone D, and I am sure you are familiar with War Zone 
D, looking for General Hwang's headquarters so we could do some- 
thing so that our folks could introduce ourselves to him. This was 
in 1961. Yes, I am familiar with the signal collection effort in Viet- 
nam. I was a part of it. I helped start it. 

Mr. DORNAN. Then you know that there is a lot of that material 
that still sits up there at NSA, and we are going to try and crack 
that and get it down here. We will come back to you. 

Let me ask Mr. Liotta, your background is principally China and 
one of the big revelations that just hit me recently as to why the 


arithmetic did not add up on Parks, Cameron, Fisher, and Heller — 
Heller, I got to know as a commander at Williams Air Force Base — 
why these 4, 1 F-84 pilot and 3 Sabre jet pilots, why they were 
returned in June 1955 and why Maj. Jack Arnold's B-29 crew was 
returned in August of 1955, why they would return 11 of his 13 
crew members, keeping back the radar enlisted men who knew 
they were over North Korea dropping leaflets and could prove it, 
so that cost them their lives, that they could make the Chinese out 
to be liars, but why would those 11 come home and the A fighter 
pilots, and then it hit me, because they were held in China, your 
area of expertise, Mr. Liotta. They were held in China. 

But all of the testimony earlier today is of Soviet transfers, or 
Vietnamese and Korean transfers, Hanoi and Pyongyang transfers, 
to the Soviet Union, bypassing China. So China could come up with 
what they had. They could return F-104 pilot Bob Flynn and three 
or four of the seven that were missing over China, lost aircraft, 
generally, from the Vietnam conflict or the South China Sea, be- 
cause they were not involved directly. There was great antipathy 
during all this period between China and the Soviet Union, both 
helping Vietnam, North Vietnam for different reasons. 

But given that you then moved over from the China desk at CIA 
to the Indochina desk, let me ask you directly, Mr. Alan Liotta. Do 
you feel that there are any live American POW's in Vietnam at this 
time or in Laos or anywhere in Indochina or in Korea? 

Mr. Liotta. Live American POW's? 

Mr. DORNAN. Yes. 

Mr. Liotta. We have no evidence that there are live American 
prisoners of war still being detained in either Vietnam or Laos, and 
that is a judgment which is based on 20 years of investigating each 
and every report which we received and applying all the resources 
of the United States Government against those investigations. 

Mr. DORNAN. You realize that people have left the DPMO or its 
prior predecessor organizations, like Col. Mike Peck, who left the 
office in anger with a totally different opinion, and that even ana- 
lysts at the middle or lowest level have different opinions? You un- 
derstand that? 

Mr. Liotta. I understand that, yes. 

Mr. DoRNAN. Now let me ask you about Korea, because remem- 
ber, you and I had a little dust-up a few months ago when you said 
that some of the reports were contradictory. Some of the people 
said Caucasians and other people said white people were seen by 
the Romanians. Now a third Romanian has turned up. I said that 
in any man's commonsense evaluation, a Caucasian and a white 
person are one in the same. 

You know that the New York Times has a headline story today — 
my name is not in it, but the committee is identified, and you know 
there was a story last week in the New York Times. The Korean 
thing is starting to heat up. That is why there were six cameras 
here earlier. The reason I did not accede to General Wald's request 
that you people go first and then my other two panels is I wanted 
to reverse this for a change. When the cameras were here earlier 
in the day, I wanted them to hear the utterly stunning testimony 
of General Sejna and Lieutenant Colonel Corso. Everjrthing they 


have been telling me, I am finding in records in the Eisenhower Li- 
brary and other classified documents. 

But you are under scrutiny right now as the deputy in this office 
under General Wald. Do you believe that we left Americans behind 
in Korea? 

Mr. LiOTTA. I think as a result of our efforts and the documents 
which we are uncovering, we are becoming closer to the truth of 
finding out exactly what happened at the end of that conflict. Colo- 
nel Corso's testimony has contributed to that, and as you know, we 
have interviewed Colonel Corso on more than one occasion and we 
have been searching for the documents that he said existed so that 
we could help substantiate that story. 

We have had investigators into the archives, and I was pleased 
to see that you had some documents associated with the hearing 
today, and I think it should be noted that those documents are doc- 
uments, many of them which our investigators found in the ar- 
chives, uncovered, and turned over. We are actively going after all 
of these documents so that we can get a true story as to what hap- 
pened in the Korean war. 

Mr. DORNAN. So you are saying it is possible. Commander Beck 
and Norm Kass have said it is possible, probably so. You are saying 

Mr. LiOTTA. And as I testified before you last time, if we did not 
think it was possible, we would have debunked the reports and ig- 
nored them, but that is not what we did. We began an honest and 
an earnest and an aggressive investigation into these reports. That 
investigation continues. I could not sit here before you today and 
tell you definitely one way or another how that investigation will 
turn out. That would be premature. 

Mr. DoRNAN. Mr. Destatte, have you read this book, "POW"? 

Mr. Destatte. Yes. 

Mr. Dornan. Have you read it? 

Mr. LiOTTA. I have not, but I will on your advice. 

Mr. Dornan. Please do. Mr. Destatte, I would recommend re- 
spectfully that you become an expert on Korea and it will make you 
a 100-times-better analyst on Vietnam. You must follow the course 
of Communist lying 

Mr. Destatte. Sir, I have read several- 

Mr. Dornan [continuing]. Campaign in 1919 right to today. 

Mr. Destatte. Several years ago, I read several books related to 
the POW/MLA experience as part of an effort to put together a pro- 
gram with the 25th Division on how to survive in a Communist 
POW camp. But I am not familiar enough with it, I do not have 
a deep enough understanding of it to comment with confidence on 
the question you have asked. I do not want to convey the misunder- 
standing or misimpression that I have not done my homework. 

Mr. Dornan. When you got to Hanoi with Bill Bell, somebody 
told Bill Bell, the POW issue can be fun. He said that under oath. 
Were you told that, that the POW issue could be fun? 

I have never found it fun. I have found it, over my entire adult 
life, particularly since Dave Hrdlicka went down, a gut-ripping, 
family-destroying, tragic, just ugly page in American history. I 
never found any fun in it. I found it as a career destroyer or a ca- 
reer compromiser. I have found people that I otherwise respected 


at the Pentagon in other executive jobs right up to four stars who 
considered it a pain in the ass. Get rid of this damn problem. I 
never found anybody who thought it was fun, but Bill Bell said 
under oath that somebody told him it was fun. Have you ever 
heard that word "fun" applied to this issue? 

Mr. Destatte. Not that I recall, no. This is a 

Mr. DORNAN. And you have never looked at it as fun? 

Mr. Destatte. No, not for a moment. Sir, if I could, you have 
mentioned the office in Hanoi. Bill Bell and I have been close 
friends for nearly 30 years. Whenever I visited Bangkok, whenever 
he was in town, I stayed with him and his family. We helped open 
that office together in 1991. 

Mr. DORNAN. He testified today that he was eased out because 
he testified frankly to a Senate committee in closed session. 

Mr. Destatte. Yes, sir, and I would like to comment on that a 

Mr. DORNAN. Sure. 

Mr. Destatte. I was there. I was a part of that and I observed 
it firsthand. In the fall of 1991, late 1991 

Mr. DORNAN. One second, please. We have an unusual cir- 
cumstance here. In the anteroom is the equivalent to Floyd Spence 
and Bob Stump, the chairman of the Veterans Committee of their 
Parliament, the Duma, and the chairman of their National Secu- 
rity/Armed Forces Committee. I thought, since these are elected 
people and since our Speaker at one point said there was more 
freedom in the Duma than there was in the U.S. Congress in the 
years 1993 and 1994, building up to my party's victory last Novem- 
ber, let me recess just briefly and maybe I can cajole them into 
coming into this prestigious room with all those battle flags — I do 
not know if there is a battle flag and the Army flag for Murmansk 
and the 15-nation effort to strangle communism in the crib — that 
is Churchill's quote; a couple of you were in the room when I used 
that in my opening statement and two of you were not. 

But let me just take a brief recess and I may talk them into com- 
ing into the room here. We will take a short break. 

[Recess. 1 

Mr. DORNAN. Gentlemen, I do not know if you could pick up what 
has happened here. There was also the deputy chairman, so it 
would have been like Ron Dellums — unless they are from the same 
party. There were three-star and four-star generals there. We do 
not have many generals or admiral flag officers left after Admiral 
Denton, the 6V2-year POW, went down September 20, 1965. When 
he left the Senate after one term, we do not have any full career 
admirals or generals, no flag officers that I know of that have ever 
served in my lifetime. It is interesting over there that their former 
flag officers will stand for office and serve in their congress. 

I asked them if they wanted to sit in to see the world from the 
view of a U.S. Congressman and they quickly declined, maybe a 
protocol thing, but it was nice of Mr. Weldon to bring them by. And 
I told them in no uncertain terms that we were taking testimony 
today on American Sabre jet pilots who flew against MiG pilots, 
and I did not leave any room for discussion. 

I said, "We know your officers flew against us in North Korea. 
I have seen your general officers in uniform telling us that they 


called a lot of the shots in the air war." And I said, "Our young 
F-86 pilots were taken to Siberia to be interviewed by the KGB, 
some to Moscow itself, all the intelligence information that could be 
extracted from them," and I said, "There is a problem. They were 
never seen again." And there was a little tension. I guess that is 
why they did not sit in. 

Let me tell you what is going to come out of this. It is going to 
be very tough. First of all, Mr. Liotta, does North Korea deny that 
there are any Americans in their country, even defectors? Do they 
weasel-word that the way people in Hanoi did to me in 1979 and 
1985 when I was in Hanoi? And do you have a gut feeling that we 
are inching close to them saying, tracking the New York Times 
story, "Yes, you can come and interview these people who stayed 
behind willingly," these now-black, African-Americans and older 
Caucasian-Americans who live in this kind of retirement home, 
guarded retirement home environment not too far from Pyongyang? 
What is your feeling from your analysts? 

Mr. Liotta. In response to your first question, sir, in response 
to my questions to them. General Wald's questions to them, and 
questions by other Congressmen and Senators who have asked in 
the past, they have repeatedly denied that they are holding Ameri- 
cans in North Korea. 

Mr. DORNAN. Right. Do you press them about defectors or people 
who are there willingly? 

Mr. Liotta. As we testified at the last hearing and as David 
Brown testified from the Department of State, the Department of 
State has made a formal request of the North Koreans to grant us 
access to the four American defectors that we know are still in 
North Korea. They have not yet acknowledged our request. 

Mr. DoRNAN. Have you looked at the propaganda movie? You 
have seen that, as we discussed before, right, with some American 
language teachers. One of them, it appears, may want to come 
home now. 

Mr. Liotta. You are referring to the film, "Nameless Heroes"? 

Mr. DORNAN. The defectors, right, from the 1960's. 

Mr. Liotta. Yes, the 1960's and the 1970's, yes, sir. 

Mr. DORNAN. You have seen it, and you are still asking to see 

Mr. Liotta. No. We have not seen all of the film. What we have 
seen — the film is a 20-segment film. We have seen one segment of 
the film and we are attempting to get all the rest of the segments 
of the film. 

Mr. DORNAN. Now, this corporate board, the next time the cor- 
porate board meets, I would hope that you would discuss using the 
eyewitness accounts of Mr. Kass and Mr. Beck, what General Sejna 
told us, that there is a hospital — I am going to make a request 
through my Intelligence Committee of national imagery of where 
this hospital is supposed to be. General Sejna says, in recent 
months, or up to when he testified in 1992, it was confirmed by 
Czechs that the hospital exists but they denied any medical experi- 
ments went on on Americans. 

What you missed this morning, what Mr. Kass and Mr. Beck 
heard, was right out of Dr. Mengele and Auschwitz, right out of the 
sick hellhole, Unit 731 at Harbin, Manchuria, medical experiments. 


amputations of healthy men, of their Hmbs to train doctors, radio- 
activity training. He speculated partly on that because he has seen 
films of horses and human beings being subjected to radioactive 
blasts, all the things the Japanese did at Harbin, Japanese who 
went on to head medical schools, never faced a war crimes trial. 

That is why I think that DPMO should be the most educated 
functioning government entity in the free world, blending together 
everything from Murmansk 1919 — my dad was asked to volunteer 
for that, you missed that, and he had enough wound chevrons. Pur- 
ple Hearts, three, and combat points to turn it down — right up 
through the Slavic names held behind in World War H and this 
persistent rumor — I used the word "lust" this morning. 

The reason I used one of the seven deadly sins is any communist 
intelligence officer who does not believe in God, has no code of 
honor that he follows, is trained to lie by his god figure, Lenin, any 
intelligence officer who did not want to interview an F-86 pilot 
when we were shooting them down at 13-to-l and then it leveled 
off at about 7 or 8-to-l, he would not be worthy of being a Com- 
munist, with no respect for human life. 

Given the numbers of POW's, German or otherwise, that died in 
the gulag archipelago, which we first became aware of through the 
writings of Solzhenetzyn, a real hero, any intelligence officer who 
did not want to talk to these people was not preparing properly for 
world war HI. When you hear the testimony of the cheap ass way 
that General Sejna was interviewed by flaky people in your former 
agency, it is unbelievable, the stupid asinine questions they asked 
him when he was divulging material to them about live Americans 
that he physically saw that had been transferred from Vietnam 
through Prague. I asked him if he would take sodium pentothal 
and he said yes. 

I want you to carry back to Jim Wald that if Commander Beck 
is released, there is going to be holy hell to pay. What I said earlier 
to the DPMO people who are in the room, you had better hope I 
get defeated November 5, and my opponent is running undercover 
with her maiden name as Loretta Sanchez. Her name is Loretta 
Bricksey, has a $1 million ocean view home in Palace Verdes Es- 
tates, three districts away. But you had better send money to her 
and hope that she beats me if you do not expect to have holy hell 
break loose if Commander Beck is let go. 

I want him to stay, I, personally. I have talked to Floyd Spence 
about this, our chairman, other people. If that causes tension in 
your office, I think he has a nice personality. I think he c£in with- 
stand it. You do not have to talk to one another socially. That has 
not gone on for months anyway. 

But I want to ask you about an initiative that people, not Com- 
mander Beck alone, have made me aware of, where the corporate 
board destroyed an initiative that I cannot speak about but it in- 
volves a European country and it was insisted it go through the 
CIA, your former agency, when the people in this European coun- 
try specifically asked that it not go through the CIA, and this is 
way before I ever knew of the existence of Commander Beck. I am 
talking about timeframe February, March, April, May, and now he 
is leaving and it was his initiative. 


Can you tell me, without mentioning the name of the country, 
what in holy hell is going on, Mr. Liotta, that this initiative, which 
looked very interesting, has been destroyed by the corporate board 
at DPMO? Can you elucidate any of the facts on that? 

Mr. Liotta. I would like to respond to several of the points that 
you have made. 

Mr. DORNAN. Sure. 

Mr. Liotta. The first is a request of you, sir. I encourage you and 
look forward to your tasking that you are going to put forward on 
trying to, through your Intelligence Committee portfolio, to get 
some information on the Czech hospital, and what I would like to 
offer is that we work together on that. As you know, there have 
been several investigations into that Czech hospital, the report, 
and I think we could collaborate together quite effectively so that 
we can make sure we most efficiently target whatever systems we 
are going to use to get us the kinds of answers you are looking for 
and do that. 

Mr. DORNAN. Done. Remember, I told you once before that your 
predecessor entities in Defense Intelligence Agency had to humbly 
beg and request that the KH-9 or -11 might be in the area of a 
certain camp called Pnomeiret, which had been cut and burned out 
of the jungle with triple walls, creating two paths 10 feet high, 
French and Indian War style, so that people could go to and from 
the latrines without other prisoners seeing them, that they had to 
ask, and weeks went by before the imagery passing overhead might 
take a peek. 

I think today, if this issue truly is top priority, second to none 
in our Government, that they could task as fast as possible, with 
the coordinants and the technical skills that have been developed 
in the last quarter century, to show me imagery. If they can show 
me Saddam Hussein's 3 palaces before Desert Storm and the 15 
palaces that he has built since in our face while he is starving his 
people, if they can show me that imagery, then I can certainly ask 
to see this hospital, and you bet we will work together on this and 
I will get together with you and Mr. Destatte and Mr. Kass as the 
leaders over there. 

Mr. Liotta. Second, I want to respond 

Mr. DORNAN. I want to let Mr. Pickett have a chance to question 
all four of you, too. 

Mr. Liotta. Would you like to do that first, sir? 

Mr. DoRNAN. Please respond to that. Do you see any — you would 
put it highest priority if I brought you pictures of a Czech hospital 
that exists that was built in the middle 1960's, a 200-bed hospital 
that may have been used for experiments on unfortunate living 
American prisoners? 

Mr. Liotta. What I understand from the meeting that you had 
last week with General Wald is that 

Mr. DoRNAN. Let me correct that — the middle 1950's. 

Mr. Liotta. Right. What I was offering is that there are some 
reports that have been done on the Czech hospital and I think it 
would be wise for us to be able to provide that information and 
work with you so that when the systems are targeted, we make 
sure that we are targeting, first, the right place, and second, we 


are getting the most effective targeting sequence down so we can 
make the best use of the technology. 

Mr. DORNAN. Of course, nobody would be in the hospital now. 
They have not run any experiments. See, what General Sejna testi- 
fied to and why I wanted Mr. Destatte to be an expert on both peri- 
ods is he said, everything that they learned during the Korean war 
with prisoner exchanges, if what he is saying is correct, and he 
passed the polygraph test, no deception, he is willing to take so- 
dium pentothal — we might even learn more, since it has the ability 
to so incredibly heighten memory recall — he said that in 1961, 
there were meetings on his general staff, here we go again. The Vi- 
etnamese intend to fight a war as long as it takes without any hope 
of winning a single battle because they will break us because we 
are culturally so similar to the French, and since they broke the 
French, they will break us. 

I went to a prison camp outside of Vihn Tenh, Laos, and a young 
NVA captain who spoke broken English, but through the translator 
told me that, and that was 1970. "We are going to break you just 
like we broke the French because we know how to whip you in 
Washington, DC, the way we whipped them in Paris." 

So this pattern, starting in 1961-62, according to General Sejna, 
was, "Oh oh. Here comes a war. The Vietnamese are going to drag 
it out for a long time while they break us on our college campuses 
in world Western capitals and in Washington, DC. So that will be 
an opportunity to get more prisoners. We have not had a chance 
to experiment on prisoners for a long time. Let us see how we can 
get some." And then they started drawing some from Laos in the 
secret war when we only had a handful of prisoners captured in 
North Vietnam in 1964 and 1965. So I want to see if the arithmetic 
jives or the time period, and let us hope he will take the sodium 

You can finish your comment on that, Mr. Liotta. 

Mr. LlOTTA. The second thing that I would like to respond to, Mr. 
Chairman, is your comments and concerns regarding the corporate 

Mr. DORNAN. Let me show something else here. So many docu- 
ments are starting to come into our possession. This is not whistle- 
blowing documents. This is from people at the Defense Depart- 
ment, not in DPMO, although this is DPMO stuff that we are get- 

Handling an indoctrination of foreign prisoners of war. Are you 
familiar with this, Mr. Destatte? 

Mr. Destatte. Undoubtedly, I have read it. We get thousands of 
documents over there. 

Mr. DORNAN. This one is particularly interesting because it is 
1960. It comes right out of China, the liaison department of the 
Central Politburo, May 1960, to the Vietnamese on how you should 
handle prisoners, given their experience. It was captured in war 
zone D in Vietnam when you were there by the First Infantry Divi- 
sion, February 23, 1966. The handling and indoctrination of foreign 
prisoners of war. 

Then there is another one captured from earlier in that period 
telling how to work these prisoners. Are you aware of these docu- 
ments, Norm Kass and Commander Beck? 


Mr. Kass. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Beck. I am not. 

Mr. DORNAN. But it makes sense, does it not, that they would al- 
ready have it codified, down like a science, how to handle us? See, 
this is where I separate from DPMO. I think they lie to you in 
Hanoi. I think they rip your ass off. I think they make fools out 
of you, and I think they are going to do it in Pyongyang, Mr. Liotta. 
I think that DPMO has to look in a mirror and has to analyze your 
whole structure from top to bottom before you fill in the empty 11 
slots and you have to decide whether you are professional intel- 
ligence analysts who can study communism for three-quarters of a 
century and not come to some of these naive assumptions. 

Mr. Destatte, your analysis of the Cuban program was not an 
analysis. It was not an 11-month program. Read what they did. 

Mr. Benge, are you still in the room? Please come up and take 
a seat next to Destatte. Let me swear him in. 

Do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you will 
give, Mr. Benge, before this subcommittee in the matters now 
under consideration will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing 
but the truth, so help you, God? 

Mr. Benge. I do. 

Mr. DORNAN. Thank you. Would you please tell Mr. Destatte that 
you were interviewed by Cubans in the spring of 1970? And tell us 
what camp it was at. 

Mr. Benge. I do not know the name of the camp. It was about 
35 kilometers southwest of Hanoi. It was 

Mr. DoRNAN. D-1, maybe, or the Rockpile, one of those- 

Mr. Benge. There was about three or four names to it. One of 
them I recall was the cheeses. There were a number of others. It 
was one of the camps that DOD at the time of my release had no 
knowledge of. 

Mr. DORNAN. Why did you think they were Cubans? 

Mr. Benge. Because I — after being in Vietnam and working with 
the Vietnamese since 1963, I definitely identified them as not — as 
being non-Vietnamese, although they were wearing North Viet- 
namese uniforms, and they had a Spanish accent. 

Mr. Dornan. Then that would still come under this category of 
Latin Caucasians, but there are so many overlapping reports and 
I read so many first-generation intelligence debriefs in the Glen 
Cobeil file, and Mr. Liotta, would you please help me. As fast as 
you can, get me the entire similar file. We are still trying to get 
it from the family of Col. Brown Lee. But get me the file on Ken 
Cameron and on J.J. Connell. 

Mr. Benge. I would also like to add, I I.D.'d one of the Cubans. 

Mr. DORNAN. You did? You I.D.'d him? 

Mr. Benge. Yes, sir. I did. 

Mr. Dornan. How? During your debrief? 

Mr. Benge. After my debriefing with a congressional committee, 
and the I.D. of that Cuban was in the NLF intel unit down in Cuba 
and that Bell here testified about. He was identified and told to me 
by the congressional committee that he 

Mr. DORNAN. That was a Viet Cong team in Havana? 

Mr. Benge. No, sir. That was not Viet Cong. That was the Na- 
tional Liberation Front 


Mr. DORNAN. That is what I always thought of as Viet Cong. 

Mr. Benge. No. OK. It was not the Viet Cong. That was the 
North Vietnamese front for the Viet Cong. 

Mr. DoRNAN. I stand corrected. 

Mr. Benge. So I would like to clarify that. I identified him. I was 
told that that man was responsible for funnelling KGB money to 
the American antiwar activists and he was directly involved, I be- 
lieve, someone may want to correct me, it is the Bermelios bri- 

Mr. DORNAN. That is the Ramos brigades 

Mr. Benge. Right. 

Mr. DORNAN. Mr. Beck, what countries did you analyze Cuban 
operations in worldwide during your career? Just tick them off, just 
a bunch of them. 

Mr. Beck. Well, it has to be over 17. I think I may miss a few, 
but Guatemala, Panama 

Mr. DoRNAN. Africa? 

Mr. Beck. African, in Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Alge- 
ria, Somalia, Ethiopia. I followed Chez Guevera's exploits as a stu- 
dent in Bolivia when he was running around down there. I have 
talked to African revolutionaries who, interestingly enough, told 
me — who knew Chez Guevera personally, told me that he visited 
Vietnam during the war. When I was a paramilitary advisor out 
in Laos, it was very interesting that — this was in 1971. I mean, it 
was common folklore among the case officers out there that that at- 
tack on Pufatea included Cuban advisors flying the AN-21 Colts. 

Mr. DORNAN. AN-2. 

Mr. Beck. AN-2, excuse me, AN-2 Colts. But the important 
thing about the Cubans, what were they doing not only in Vietnam 
but elsewhere in the world 

Mr. DORNAN. Were they not sort of the intelligence shock troops? 

Mr. Beck. They were the third world brigade. They were the 
internationalists that were the surrogates for the Soviets, so 

Mr. DoRNAN. And Castro loved it. 

Mr. Beck. I mean, the Russians have a reputation of being con- 
descending and a bit racist to the third worlders, so the Cubans 
were used to go in and fill that gap. They could relate directly to 
these people, and they did it in Vietnam. 

I have just recently looked at the files that I was not able to get. 
What the Cubans were involved in in Vietnam was long term. It 
was intelligence related. By that, I mean it was part of a worldwide 
propaganda effort leading up to what was called the Second Sym- 
posium on U.S. Genocide 

Mr. DORNAN. In October 1968 in Havana? 

Mr. Beck. Well, it started in actually 1967, and it was through- 
out the 

Mr. DoRNAN. Bertrand Russell was involved? 

Mr. Beck. The names of Bertrand Russell and Stokely Car- 
michael and Wilfred Bouchette, who was a big Communist name 
in Korea, by the way, and a cast of 

Mr. DORNAN. Col. Bud Mahuron, who shot down — excuse me for 
interrupting — who shot down five MiG's, Japanese aircraft, and 
was the first double, triple, and quadruple ace in World War II, 


told me, and pardon my language, ladies, but our POWs called him 
well-fed bird shit because he would correct the torture-extracted 
confessions of men in Korea — Korea — and would then subject them 
to more torture so they would clean up their grammar and delib- 
erate archaic terms that Americans do not use, like "dastardly air 
pirates", and then he came down to Vietnam. 

See the connection, Mr. Destatte, between Korea and Vietnam? 
And he did the very same thing in Vietnam, got men tortured as 
he corrected — thank God he has gone to his eternal punishment — 
he did the same thing to our prisoners in Vietnam. Korea and Viet- 
nam are so interlocked that it is just beyond belief that the intel- 
ligence world still looks at them as two separate spheres of influ- 
ence and does not understand that what our intelligence people 
did, their Communist ambassadors did, including the Cuban am- 

Mr. Cassor made me aware of a book that I am going to ask the 
Library of Congress to translate on an emergency basis by the am- 

Mr. Beck. "El Grande Credo Los Cubanos and El Camino de Ho 
Chih Minh". 

Mr. DORNAN. What does that mean? 

Mr. Beck. "The Big Secret: Cubans on the Ho Chih Minh Trail". 

Mr. DoRNAN. The Cubans on the Ho Chih Minh Trail. So, gentle- 
men, let me turn it over to Mr. Pickett, because this is to be contin- 
ued, maybe even next week or the week after before we adjourn. 
If we do not go out by September 27 and we are in 1 more week, 
I want to have one more session. I want it to be friendly and con- 
structive to see if we can end this us against them mentality and 
start working together, and I will call General Wald about it. 

Mr. Pickett, we have about — well, the second bells have not gone 
off yet. 

Mr. Pickett. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I was just going to ask Mr. Liotta if he had had an opportunity 
to make a full response. You seemed to have a couple of items, sev- 
eral items that you wanted to speak on. Did you get them all in? 

Mr. Liotta. No, sir. I would appreciate an opportunity just to 
finish responding to the chairman's question. 

Mr. Pickett. Why do you not finish that up? We are going to 
have to leave to go make votes and I expect it is going to take 
about 30 to 45 minutes to finish that, so you may want to kind of 
wrap this up. 

Mr. Liotta. I understand, sir. Thank you. 

I just wanted to respond first to the questions and concerns 
which the chairman has expressed about the corporate board and 
also about the true function of the corporate board, and perhaps we 
can save a bulk of that discussion for another time, for even in 
your office. I just wanted to say 

Mr. DORNAN. My opinion is, it saves General Wald from ever 
coming to a decision, that he can pass the buck. That is a tough 
word, but he can always pass the buck, be disengaged, listen to 
Norm Kass, tell him that he should keep Commander Beck on, and 
then defer to some blackballing operation at the corporate board. 
I know there is a lawyer mentality over there about things that are 


hearsay, dismiss them. Mr. Destatte told me that the whole 
mindset to debunk 

Mr. LiOTTA. That is not the purpose of the corporate board, Mr. 

Mr. DORNAN. But that is not what other leaders have said there 
that have left. 

Mr. LlOTTA. That is not the purpose of the corporate board, and 
since I brought the concept of the corporate board into DPMO, I be- 
lieve I can answer your questions about its functions, its respon- 
sibilities, and what it does do and how it performs those, and I 
would be glad to discuss that with you. 

And third — I know you have to go because the bells are going, 
but the third was in response to your questions about the Russian 
initiative and I think there that it would be better not to get into 
a brief discussion of that. I cannot discuss it or elaborate in terms 
of the details but I can tell you that it is not a dead initiative. It 
is not over with. I am not sure how you came up with the percep- 
tion that it is, but it is an initiative which our office is pursuing. 

Mr. DORNAN. Here is a final thought. If the Communist liars in 
Hanoi are telling us the truth, if everjd^hing they are sa3dng now 
is gospel truth and they are really cooperating fully, effectively, to- 
tally, passionately, all the crap words we heard out of the Senate 
committee, if all of that is going on and there is nothing left but 
dust and the bones of a few heroes, then why do you exist? Why 
not shut down DPMO and let the joint resolution people out of Ha- 
waii go on the bone search if there are not valuable pieces of intel- 
ligence here that can be put into a mosaic? 

That is the problem DPMO has boxed itself into. If everything 
you say and that the corporate board puts out to the U.S. Congress, 
House and Senate, is true, then there is no reason for you to exist 
and you ought to go back to the CIA. General Wald ought to go 
back to North Dakota and the rest of you can either retire or look 
for analyst jobs somewhere else. 

Mr. LlOTTA. If my office did not exist, we would not have re- 
turned an Eighth Calvary Regiment soldier from the Korean war 
back to his family. 

Mr. DoRNAN. Hawaii could have done that. 

Mr. LlOTTA. We would not be in North Korea 

Mr. DORNAN. You brought back bones. Hawaii could do that. 

Mr. LlOTTA [continuing]. We did not have the documents which 
we have before us today on the Korean and what happened in the 
Korean war and be closer to learning the truth about that. 

Mr. DORNAN. But 

Mr. LlOTTA. If my office did not exist, we would not have been 
able to conduct a comprehensive review of all the information, al- 
lowing us to question the analytic assumptions of the 1970's and 
1980's that guided 

Mr. DoRNAN. But all you have done is sign off on the analytic 
assumptions of the 1970's and 1980's that these Communists are 
telling the truth, that we are stupid in this country, that there was 
no coordination between the Kremlin, Pyongyang, and Hanoi, that 
they have been telling this truth right along. You were not in the 
room, Bob, when a couple of your people went to work for Caterpil- 


lar. I think that is disgusting and disgraceful. I said it before you 
came in the room. 

I think you need to look in a mirror over there at DPMO. Let 
us shake this whole thing up and start working together. This is 
a damn disgrace, if you want to know something. You cannot jus- 
tify your pay, Mr. Liotta, because Hawaii can do that. We can send 
a joint resolution team to go look for our heroes' chips of bones and 
single teeth anytime we want. We do not need 89 highly paid peo- 
ple and millions of dollars to function with a predisposition to dis- 
regard, disrespect, discredit, and dismiss, because it is not bunk we 
are hearing, it is hardcore intelligence. 

We have 7 minutes to vote. Do you have a final statement, Mr. 

Mr. Beck. No, sir. I would not want to follow that. Thank you, 

Mr. DORNAN. Do you, Mr. Kass, because I appreciated your con- 
structive analysis of how DPMO can do better. Mr. Kass, do you 
have any final comments? 

Mr. Kass. No. I would like to just say that I believe, as many 
of us do, that there are many ways that we could approach our 
work that would move things along. I think many of us are impa- 
tient with the progress we have made. It is difficult work, it is frus- 
trating work, but 

Mr. DORNAN. Right. Mr. Kass, if I asked you right now as a U.S. 
congressional chairman to write me a paper on how you think 
DPMO could improve its work, would you be considered a whistle- 
blower? Would General Wald and Mr. Liotta start to move you out? 

Mr. Kass. I have no reason to assume that, sir. 

Mr. DORNAN. Then good. I ask you, please, Mr. Norm Kass, to 
write me a paper on how DPMO can improve itself 

You are new on the job, Mr. Liotta, so you and I, we are going 
to try and work together. 

Mr. Liotta. I look forward to that. 

Mr. DoRNAN. I promised Mr. Destatte I would come to his section 
over there and look at it. 

I will tell you this, and it has nothing to do with Mr. Beck or 
Mr. Kass. You do have whistleblowers below them. You know what 
they told me? They told me that your place functions like a retire- 
ment home. That is what I told Mr. Pickett and that is what I told 
Mr. Chapla, that it functions like a retirement home with a lot of 
people telling war stories about past careers, and it sounds an 
awful lot like what I heard today, that this issue can be fun as you 
wrap up your career, reminisce-at-will operation instead of getting 
at these hardcore truths. 

Mr. Destatte. The people in our office, many of them routinely 
work 6 days a week. Most of them work overtime every day. They 
do not get a cent for it. 

Just to tell one story on myself, while I was in Hanoi, people 
would call me from here 

Mr. DORNAN. Try to do it, Mr. Destatte, in about 30 seconds. 

Mr. Destatte. People would call me at all times. One time, one 
of my colleagues called me at the office at 2 o'clock in the morning 
Hanoi time and actually expected that I would be there. He was 
not surprised. And never in the last 17-plus years that I have been 


with this office, whether I have been working here in Washington 
or whether I worked in Hanoi, not once has anyone 

Mr. DORNAN. Mr. Pickett and I have to get out of here. Let me 
just tell you this. You should become an expert on Korea. This is 
all tied together. I am going to stay on this like a bulldog. 

Mr. Pickett. Mr. Chairman, if I could, since we are ending this 
in such haste, if any of the witnesses wish to supplement 

Mr. DoRNAN. Yes. 

Mr. Pickett [continuing]. The statements you have made today, 
the record will be held open. You can make a written statement 
and it will become a part of the record. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. DORNAN. Thank you, Mr. Pickett. 

Thank you. The subcommittee is temporarily adjourned until we 
meet again next week or the week after. 

[Whereupon, at 6:30 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned, sub- 
ject to the call of the Chair.] 

[The following information was submitted for the record:] 


Testimony by 



Before the 



September 17, 1996 

Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you and the members of your committee for this 
opportunity to brief you on events that have transpired since I last testified here in June regarding 
our efforts to account for American servicemen lost in North Korea. 

On November 1, 1950, near the North Korean village of IJnsan, elements of the U.S. 
Army Eighth Cavalry Regiment were making their last stands against hordes of Communist 
Chinese soldiers who had surprised and initially thrown back United Nations Command along 
the entire Korean front. In a lone foxhole, one cavalry trooper, like his forebears under Custer at 
the Battle of the Little Bighorn almost 120 years ago, went down fighting. But neithc'r his 
surviving comrades or family ever knew what happened to him. He was reported missing and 
presumptively declared dead on December 31, 1953. 

On July 30, 1996, a team often American Department of Defense remains recovery experts 
returned from the first-ever joint US-North Korean recovery operation in the Democratic 
People's Republic of Korea. This unprecedented event was the result of long years of frustrating, 
but ultimately successful, negotiations with North Korea on the POW/MIA issue. The team 
recovered remains which have been confirmed as those of the above trooper who was killed in 

38-526 - 97 


action in North Korea in November 1950. Our team for the second joint recovery operation is 
scheduled to deploy into North Korea this month. 

Since I last testified, our researchers have been to the Eisenhower Library archives, where 
much of the government-level information of the Korean War period, and the period immediately 
after, was located. They brought back approximately 1,800 pages of unclassified documents, 
copies of which have been forwarded to the Congress. The classified documents, approximately 
900 in number, received later by mail, are still being reviewed. What we are learning from this 
research and our ongoing review of the almost 30,000 pages of documents previously collected 
from the National Archives, is helping us to resolve many of the apparent inaccuracies of the 
past, and to develop a much more accurate accounting effort. 

The Defense POW/MIA Office is also working closely with the Services and the Armed 
Forces DNA Identification Laboratory to formally launch a Korean War family outreach 
program. The purpose of this program is to restore contact with most of the over 8,100 families 
concerned, secure DNA samples from appropriate family members, and create a DNA reference 
data base. This will provide us a base to which we can compare samples from recovered 
remains, offering a much greater chance at identifying remains. This program also looks to the 
future by securing samples now so that even if the maternal line of the serviceman has ceased, 
the identification tool can be used whenever the serviceman's remains are recovered. 


Our investigation of unresolved reports of live Americans living in North Korea 
continues unabated. As I testified previously, one of the first initiatives launched by our Korea 
research and analysis cell was to follow up on the series of reports, mostly hearsay, of alleged 
American POWs received prior to 1992. As a result of this effort, other reports surfaced, some 
new, others repeating earlier claims. We are currently using all available resources to help us 
substantiate these reports. For example, the information originally obtained from North Korean 
defectors was due to our tasking of the intelligence system. Our office coordinates such taskings 
with all levels of the inmtelligence community. We also act through the Slate Department to 
contact foreign governments. In addition, we continue to aggressively canvas the former POW 
community for information that will help us learn what happened to their comrades. In July, for 
example, we inter\'iewed over 1 10 former POWs at the Korean War Ex-POW Association 
Annual Reunion in Chicago, gathering information on over 200 unaccounted for cases.. 

The Department of Defense is determined not to let the daunting challenges facing us 
deter our efforts to succeed. As American military experts prepare to deploy into North Korea 
this month to begin the second joint recovery operation, they do so in a concerted effort to 
remember and respect the brave servicemen for whom the\ are searching and working to bring 
home after so many years. But as I hope my testimony illustrates, they represent only the most 
visible part of the most thorough effort since the end of the war to account for our missing 
American ser\'icemen, and if possible, bring them home. 

Thank You. 


9/16/96 4:39 PM 

Opening statement by Mr. Robert J. Destatte 

Senior Analyst, Research & Analysis Directorate, 

Defense Prisoner of War and Missing in Action Office, 

before the House Subcommittee on Military Personnel, 

September 17, 1996 

Congressman Dornan I welcome the opportunity to appear here today. I remember well the 
many constructive meetings I had with you and your colleagues on the House POW/MIA Task 
Force in the early and mid-1980s. The task force's dedication and support for our efforts to 
account for our servicemen and its courage and integrity in opposing all efforts to exploit the 
POW/MIA issue for narrow personal or partisan purposes profoundly influenced me and my 
colleagues who had the privilege of working with the Task Force. With your permission I will 
make a short verbal statement at this time and I ask that my full written statement be made a 
part of the record for this hearing. 

In view of our past association, it saddens me that I appear here today to respond to charges 
you made against me in a speech on the floor of the House on 2 August 1996, as reported in the 
Congressional Record for that date. 

In that speech you accused me of treachery. You accused me of willfully and knowingly lying to, 
manipulating, and psychologically torturing our families. You implied that I have become an 
accomplice of the Communist government in Hanoi. And, finally, you threatened to bring 
criminal charges against me. 

As you know from our many earlier meetings, I have served this nation faithfully my entire adult 
life. I served in the United States Army for more than 20 years as an enlisted man and Warrant 
Officer. I voluntarily served five years in uniform in Vietnam during the war, including nearly two 
years with the 173rd Airborne Infantry Brigade and one year with the 1st Brigade of the 5th 
Mechanized Infantry Division. I carry an artificial hip as a result of an injury I received from a 
mine while accompanying montagnard soldiers from the Mai Loc Special Force Camp on an 
operation near the Demilitarized Zone in 1970. Despite the injury, I continued forward with a 
small group of montagnards and received the Army Commendation Medal with "V" device for an 
action later that day. 

I have an unblemished record of 17 years of dedicated and faithful service as an analyst in the 
Defense POW/MIA Office. I helped open the American POW/MIA Office in Hanoi in 1991. 
While seconded to that office from mid-1991 until August 1995, I and my colleagues in the 
United States Joint Task Force-Full Accounting worked hard to develop the spirit of genuine 
cooperation that now characterizes our joint search efforts in Vietnam. 

I have been on the front line of our battles in war and peace in Vietnam. Your charges as 
reported in the Congressional record have done me a grave injustice. Friends have called and 
expressed wonderment and concern. Even my 12 year old granddaughter in southern 
California learned about them. I explained to my friends and family they need not be concerned 
because the facts are clear and they are on my side. The facts are outlined in the written 
statement I submitted for the record of this hearing. I told my granddaughter she can be 
confident that if history remembers my efforts on behalf of our unaccounted-for servicemen, it 
will remember me for my dedication to discovering the facts and my courage in defending the 
truth about this issue. I am ready to answer your questions. 


9/16/96 4:39 PM 

Testimony of Mr. Robert J. Destatte, 

Senior Analyst, Research & Analysis Directorate, 

Defense Prisoner of War and Missing in Action Office, 

before the House Subcommittee on Military Personnel, 

September 17, 1996 

This unclassified statement for the record responds to charges Congressman 
Dornan made against me and other current and former members of the Defense 
Prisoner of War and Missing in Action Office (DPMO) in a speech in the House of 
Representatives on 2 August 1996, as published in the Congressional Record, and in a 
letter to the Secretary of Defense on 26 August 1996. This statement for the record 
extends my opening remarks before a hearing by the House Subcommittee on Military 
Personnel chaired by Congressman Doman on 17 September 1996. 

Congressman Dornan, in a speech in the House of Representatives on August 2, 
1996, you made several serious charges against me and my colleagues in the DPMO. 
You accused me of treachery. You accused me of willfully and knowingly lying to, 
manipulating, and psychologically torturing our families. You implied that I have become 
an accomplice of the Communist government in Hanoi. And, finally, you threatened to 
bring criminal charges against me. In your speech and in a letter to the Secretary of 
Defense dated August 26, 1996, you implied in strong language that I and other analysts 
in the Department of Defense POW/MIA office had lied about and misrepresented a 
program in which three Caucasian interrogators who appear to have been Cubans 
brutally mistreated 19 American POWs at a POW camp nicknamed "The Zoo" in Hanoi, 
between about August 1967 and July 1968. As you know, the POWs coined the term 
"Cuban Program" to describe the actions of those interrogators. The records of the 
Defense Prisoner of War and Missing in Action Office (DPMO) concerning the "Cuban 
Program" show that your charges are unfounded and based on misrepresentations of 
information contained in documents DPMO sent to you in March 1987 and August 1996. 
I'm sure you agree that the strong language and serious nature of your charges demand 
the following detailed response. 

In your August 2 speech you charged that I". . . had the gall, the effrontery, the 
treachery to put in writing recently that [the Cubans who tortured our POWs] were 
interpreters only. . ." You also stated you intended to ". . . bring [Mr. Destatte] up on 
charges for willfully and knowingly lying to our families, and I understand he owns 
property in Hanoi, that he is marrying in to that system over there, and that he has been 
allowed for years to disgracefully manipulate and psychologically torture the families of 
these men that were tortured by [the Cubans]." 

DPMO recently furnished your office everything I had ever written about the 
"Cuban Program" as of August 13, 1996. Those writings consisted of two informal notes 
I sent via our internal office e-mail system to another member of the DPMO staff on the 
3rd and 9th of July 1996, respectively, and two memoranda for record dated July 12 and 
August 13, 1996. I have copies of those documents with me today and request that they 
be made part of the record of this hearing. As these documents cleariy show, I (2)rtrayed 
the "Cuban Program" with full and complete accuracy; including the repeated brutal 
beatings and torture by the "Cubans" that caused the death of one of the brave victims of 


9/16/96 4:39 PM 

the program. Your charge that "for years" I caused difficulties for the families of the 
American victims of the "Cuban Program" is wholly untrue. I wish to emphasize that I 
was never responsible for any investigations or analysis related to the "Cuban Program," 
nor had I ever written anything about the program before writing the informal e-mail note 
to a co-worker on July 3, 1996. 

Your attacks on my character also are totally untrue. For example, as you 
undoubtedly know from your own research, one of the major impediments to foreign 
investment in Vietnam is the fact that foreigners can not purchase or own property there. 
I could not have purchased property in Hanoi, even if I wanted to. 

Your implication that I am disloyal to the United States is especially unjust. I have 
dedicated my entire adult life to faithful service to this country. As 1 explained in my 
opening remarks today, I served in the United States Army for more than 20 years, 
including five years of voluntary service in Vietnam during the war, including neariy two 
years with the 173rd Airborne Infantry Brigade and one year with the 1st Brigade, 5th 
Mechanized Infantry Division. I carry an artificial hip as a result of an injury suffered in 
combat and was decorated for valor in combat. I have dedicated the last 17 years of my 
life to the search for an accounting for my fellow servicemen who are still unaccounted 
for in Southeast Asia. I have served on the front lines of our battles in Vietnam in war 
and peace. If history remembers my service with the Defense POW/MIA Office, history 
will remember me for my dedication to discovering the facts and my courage in 
defending the truth about the fate of our unaccounted-for countrymen. 

In your August 26 letter you wrote in reference to unnamed analysts that you 
found "... it shocking that in some of the documents you sent me . . . non-combat 
analysts kept referring to torture as 'punishment,' . . . [and that] there is more than a hint 
by some analysts that an uncooperative attitude [by the POWs] brought about the 
sadistic brutality of the Cuban and Vietnamese torturers. And in one disgustingly 
memorable phrase, an analyst wrote that the young Captain Cobeil seemed to 'relish' his 
punishment." These criticisms are misrepresentations of information contained in 
documents DPMO provided to your office and, in one instance, a classified report of a 
debriefing of a returned POW. 

The word "pur^ishment" appears in only two documents in our files on the "Cuban 
Program." One of the two documents is an extract from a Memorandum for the 
Secretary of Defense dated April 5, 1973. The other is a fact sheet based on the eariier 
document. The Defense Intelligence Agency's POW/MIA Office sent the fact sheet to 
you on March 25, 1987. The letter of transmittal described the fact sheet as "... a 
summary of the information known on the interrogation and torture of American PWs by 
'Cubans'. . ." The relevant passage in the 1987 fact sheet stated: ". . . When the soft sell 
was found to be ineffective, brutal measures were applied. Extreme physical torture was 
used in an attempt to gain total submission to 'Fidel's' will. Besides physical punishment, 
the PWs were under constant mental strain and duress. 'Fidel' was always nearby, 
looking in the cells or asking questions, and the PWs were aware that they could be 
tortured or quizzed at any time. . ." The 1973 memorandum contained neariy identical 
wording, and explained that "physical torture included beatings with fists and rubt)§r 
strips (known to the PWs as the 'fan belt') and the 'ropes'." I brought a copy of the fact 
sheet with me today and request that it be entered in full into the record of this hearing. 


9/16/96 4:39 PM 

As the full text of the documents show, the analysts who prepared the documents 
pointed out the fact that the "Cuban" and Vietnamese interrogators resorted to brutal 
torture in frustration over their inability to bend American POWs to their will. I am 
puzzled that anyone could find in those words any suggestion that our analysts 
disapproved of the bravery of those Americans or their inspirational resistance to their 
interrogators. I cannot identify any document in DPMO files that contains the 
"disgustingly memorable phrase" you referred to, namely that the POW who eventually 
died, USAF Major Earl G. Cobeil, seemed to "relish" his torture. 

I did, however, find in the debriefing reports similar statements by two former 
POWs who were victims of the "Cuban" interrogators. Those two POWs helped protect 
Major Cobeil and helped try to nurse him baci< to health. The two returned POWs made 
the comments in the context of reporting that the chief "Cuban" interrogator, nicknamed 
"Fidel," had beaten Major Cobeil so severely that he became almost completely disabled 
physically and mentally, and that "Fidel" had convinced the Vietnamese guards that 
Major Cobeil was faking. Each of these returned POWs then explained how Major 
Cobeil's roommates tried to protect him from more punishment when he refused to bow 
to the Vietnamese guards when they entered their room. One of the returned POWs 
recalled that "... In order to save (Major Cobeil] from further beatings, the other POWs 
grabbed him and forced him to bow. This satisfied the Vietnamese. He seemed to be 
looking for torture at this point; he had to take it. . ." The other returned POW recalled 
that Major Cobeil's ". . . roommates tried to protect him from the guards and the 
harassment he was getting, however, he liked to be hit. . ." The second quote appears in 
a debriefing report prepared by three Navy officers, including two specialists from the US 
Navy Neuropsychiatric Unit in San Diego. The returned POW requested that medical 
experts participate in this debriefing to help insure there would be an expert record of the 
full consequences of "Fidel's" extreme cruelty to Major Cobeil. 

The statement you described as a "disgustingly memorable phrase" written by a 
"non-combat analyst" is in fact a misrepresentation of a statement a returned POW made 
as he triedjilustrate the extent of "Fidel's" cruelty to Major Cobeil. I can not understand 
how or why anyone would misrepresent the source or the intent of the former POWs 

The Department of Defense has steadfastly protected the reports of debriefings 
of returned POWs from unauthorized disclosure outside of the Department of Defense 
precisely to protect the reputations of the POWs from unjust attacks by unscrupulous 
persons who would misrepresent their statements and their conduct. I want to reaffirm 
my statement to you on 11 September 1996, that information from one or more classified 
reports of debriefings was released without proper authority to someone on your staff by 
a member of the DPMO staff who placed his or her personal opinions above our sacred 
responsibility to protect the reputations of our former POWs from unjust attacks. Again, I 
ask for your assurance that your office will protect that information from further disclosure 
and that you will return to DPMO immediately all copies of all documents any member of 
your staff received that contain information recorded in any report of debriefing of any 
former POW. Of course, DPMO will continue to provide you with all information and 
documents relevant to our efforts to achieve the fullest possible accounting for the 
Americans lost during the Vietnam war; however, I'm sure you will agree that the brave 


9/16/96 4:39 PM 

Americans who served with exemplary courage under extremely trying conditions in the 
POW camps in Southeast Asia deserve our gratitude, our profound respect, and our 
protection from unjust attacks. 

Finally, I want to address your implication that my predecessors dismissed the 
"Cuban Program." I must point out that by 19 March 1973, nearly two weeks before the 
last POW was released, Mr. Trowbridge, a retired former member of the DPMO staff and 
a former US Navy pilot and Vietnam veteran, had helped establish a coordinated effort 
within the United States Government to learn the identity of the "Cubans" who were 
responsible for the torture of the 19 POWs in the "Cuban Program" and the death of 
Major Cobeil. That effort included the DIA POW/MIA Office, each of the Armed 
Services, the National Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the 
Central Intelligence Agency, as well as the Chief Investigator of the Senate Internal 
Security Subcommittee. That effort led to the tentative identification of two of the 
"Cubans" in 1976; however, the returned POWs who were victims of the "Cubans" were 
never able to confirm that the two men who were tentatively identified were indeed the 
men who tortured them in the Hanoi prison camp. Mr. Trowbridge also helped insure 
that the DIA POW/MIA Office gave prompt and full support to the FBI's investigation of a 
1987 report that a Cuban employee of the United Nations might be one of the Cuban 
interrogators that tortured our men in Hanoi. The FBI worked closely with returned 
POWs in that investigation; however, the POWs could not positively identify the Cuban at 
the United Nations as one of the men who tortured them in Hanoi. 

In summary, the record demonstrates that your charges against me and my 
colleagues in your August 2, 1996 speech and subsequent correspondence are 
unfounded and based on misrepresentations of documents DPMO furnished to you in 
March 1987 and August 1996 and a report of a debriefing of a former POW. I'm sure 
you will agree that if left uncorrected those charges are grave injustices to men who have 
devoted their entire adult lives to the service of this country. With all respect due your 
position, Congressman Dornan, I believe you owe me and my colleagues a public 

5 Enclosures: 

1. E-mail note dated July 3, 1996. 

2. E-mail note dated ,July 9, 1996. 

3. Memo for Record dated July 12, 1996. 

4. Memo for Record dated August 13, 1996. 

5. DIA Letter dated March 25, 1987. 


From: Destatte, Robert 

To: Baughman, Daniel M. LTC, USA; Beck, William G. 

Cc: Litvinas, Anthony J.; Sydow, Clyde G.; Gray, Daniel W.; Caswell, James R; Harvey, 

Joe B.; Travis, Jo Anne B.; Cooke, Melinda; Vivian, Paul 

Subject: RE: Cuban Vietnam operations 

Date: Wednesday, July 03, 1996 12:10PM 


We explored this issue with the Vietnamese a few years ago. According to the 
Vietnamese, the Cubans were not interrogators, nor were they part of any officially 
sponsored interrogation program. The Cubans sent a team of three English language 
instructors to Vietnam to provide instruction in basic English to PAVN personnel 
working with American prisoners. At the working level, the three Cubans persuaded their 
Vietnamese colleagues to allow them (the Cubans) to demonstrate the effectiveness of 
Cuban interrogation techniques. The resulting mistreatment of some of our POWs by the 
Cubans is well documented in returnee debriefings and books written by some of our POWs 
(for example Alvarez). Information about the mistreatment eventually filtered up to 
Vietnamese decision makers and they terminated the Cuban's English language training 
program about one year after it began. 

The Vietnamese explanation is plausible and fully consistent with what we know about the 
conduct of the Cubans in question and Vietnamese practices granting outsiders access to 
American POWs. I don't know what you have in mind when you refer to a "Soviet POW 
program during the Vietnam War era." I do know that we can state with complete 
confidence that the Vietnamese did not permit Soviet persons to interrogate American 
POWs, nor did they send any American POWs to the Soviet Union. 

If you feel it is necessary to learn the names of the three Cubans in question and, perhaps, 
try to question them about their activities in Vietnam, I suggest we try to persuade 
Vietnamese and Cuban authorities to identify them and permit us to interview them. We 
should not, however, attempt to justify (either explicitly or implicitly) pursuit of further 
information about the three Cubans on the false notion that they can lead us to information 
about a presumed secret Soviet POW program. 

We have more than 30 years of accumulated knowledge and experience regarding POWs 
and MIAs in Southeast Asia. While there are still some unanswered questions about 
specific cases, or general issues such as the quality and quantity of records the Vietnamese 
and Lao might still have, there is no mystery about Soviet or other Communist bloc access 
to American POWs. 

In short, we answered the questions about Cuban and Russian access to American POWs 
years ago--there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. Let's focus our time, energy, and 
resources on actions that can produce useful casualty resolution data. 

Regards, RJ Destatte 


From: Destatte, Robert 

To: Baughman, Daniel M. LTC, USA; Beck, William G. 

Cc: Graham, Albert E.; Litvinas, Anthony J.; Sydow, Clyde G.; Gray, Daniel W.; Caswell, 

James R; Harvey, Joe B.; Liotta, Jay A.; MacDougall, James; Travis, Jo Anne B.; Wold, 

James W.; Chester, Mark, LCDR, USN; Cooke, Melinda; Kass, Norman D.; Vivian, Paul; 

Schumacher, Roger 

Subject: RE: Cuban Vietnam operations 

Date: Tuesday, July 09, 1996 4:03PM 


This note responds to your 08 July and 09 July notes. 

The records of debriefings of the returned POWs will show that the so-called "Cuban 
Program" lasted from about August 1967 to August 1968, involved three interrgotars who 
might have been Cubans and 19 American POWs, and took place at the Cu Loc prison 
camp in Hanoi. The program did not attempt to acquire significant intelligence or to 
indoctrinate the POWs involved. The USAF studied the program and published a report of 
its findings (Report No. A10-2, Series 700/JP-1, dated June 1974, Subject: Special 
Exploitation Program for SEASIA PWs, 1967-1968). As the USAF report noted, "While 
the 'Cuban Program' was undoubtedly sanctioned by the North Vietnamese, it 
apparently lost favor in the summer of 1968 and was permanently terminated." You did 
not note who showed you the more than 100 newspaper articles, personal documents, etc. 
that you mentioned in your 9 July note; however, my experience is that most returnees 
acknowledge that when they were debriefed in 1973, their recollection of events in the 
POW camps was much clearer and more precise than in recent years. 

Some points have never been in dispute. Communism is by nature an amoral ideology. 
Communist officials frequently are secretive and duplicitous. Nevertheless, they do not 
always lie skillfully, nor do they always successfully keep secrets and deceive their 
adversaries. Although they shared some similar goals and methods, the Soviet and 
Cuban governments did not successfully dictate policies or actions to the North 
Vietnamese government. 

The intelligence community has been collecting and evaluating information about 
Americans who became unaccounted-for in Southeast Asia for more than 30 years. 
Thousands of professionally competent Americans contributed to this effort. I doubt that 
any one of them was so naive as to place any confidence in uncorroborated statements 
by Communist officials. In fact, in the early years, suspicions about covert programs drove 
much of the collection effort. As the evidence accumulated, the answer* emerged. 

As this 30-year effort proves, it is seldom proper to assume on the strength of faith alone 
that we know in advance the answer to a question and then proceed to try to prove we 
were correct. The proper way to proceed is to begin with a question and then collect 
evidence to answer the question, recognizing that at some point the evidence will yield an 
answer. The intelligence community has striven over the years to insure that answers 
follow the evidence, and that analysts recognize answers when they see them. 3. 


The fundamental question is not, as you suggested, whether the Soviet or Cuban 
Communists had a successful covert operation with regard to American POWs. We 
answered that question years ago. They did not. The fundamental question is whether we 
should continue to base our judgments and policy on rational, logical, and objective analysis 
of facts, or turn to speculation based on exaggerated notions of Communist actions and 
capabilities, and uncorroborated second and third hand claims by sources whose access 
and reliability are questionable. 

I remain firmly convinced we should not spend our time, energy, and resources, and 
taxpayers' money, trying to reinvent the wheel. We should focus our efforts on activities 
that can produce useful casualty resolution data. 

Robert J. Destatte, Senior Analyst, Research and Analysis Directorate 



DATE: 1 2 July 1 996 "yi/^ 

PREPARED BY: Robert J. Destatte, genior Analyst, Research & Analysis Directorate, DPMO 

SUBJECT: Comments by Vietnamese Officers Regarding the "Cuban Program" 

1. Summary : 

a. The purpose of this memorandum is threefold; 

1) To record comments by two officers of the People's Army of Vietnam 
(PAVN) in conversations with me in May and June 1992 concerning the so-called "Cuban 

2) To summarize efforts by the intelligence community and the Federal 
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to identify the "Cuban" interrogators. 

3) To summarize the descriptions of the "Cuban Program" the victims made 
during their post-homecoming debriefings. 

b. The "Cuban Program" is a term that returned American POWs coined to describe 
a program in which a team of Caucasian interrogators subjected 19 American POWs to 
brutal torture over a period of nearly one year, from August 1967 to July 1968, at a POW 
camp in Hanoi, Vietnam. Many of the returned POWs believed the Caucasian interrogators 
were Cuban. 

2. Background . 

a. The POWs nicknamed the chief "Cuban" interrogator "Fidel." They nicknamed 
his two colleagues "Chico" and "Pancho." "Pancho" (one or two POWs called him 
"Garcia") first appeared shortly before the "Cuban Program" ended, and had direct contact 
with only two POWs. "Fidel" brutally beat and tortured most of the 19 POWs, destroying 
the physical and mental health of one of them. This POW eventually died in captivity, 
apparently as a result of the beatings. For a brief period during the closing months of the 
"Cuban Program," the POWs observed a fourth man who appeared to be a Cuban working 
as an electrical technician in the POW camp. Also for a brief period late in the program, 
the POWs heard on the camp radio the voice of a woman they believed was Cuban. As of 
the date of this memorandum, our records indicate that the American intelligence 
community and federal law enforcement agencies never positively identified the "Cuban" 
interrogators in the "Cuban program." 

b. "Fidel." In 1976 American intelligence officials tentatively identified "Fidel" as a 
Captain in the Cuban Ministry of Interior. This Captain had a background of interrogating 
foreigners and was in Hanoi during the "Cuban program." The one available photograph of 
this Captain was taken in 1959 when he was wearing a full beard and an Army field hat. 
Seven victims of the "Cuban program" viewed the photograph, but none could positively 
identify the man in the photo. This Captain was in the United States during 1956-1957 
buying and shipping arms to Cuba. In 1987 the FBI investigated a report that a Cuban 
working at the United Nations might be "Fidel." The absence of any follow up note in 


DPMO files suggests that this tip did not produce definitive results. I will contact the FBI 
agents who investigated the claim and confirnn the results of their investigation. 

c. "Chico." Also in 1976, American intelligence officials felt that "Chico" might be 
a Cuban employee of the Cuban Department of State Security who studied at Tulane 
University, New Orleans, LA, during 1958-59. Apparently, however, intelligence officers 
did not have a photograph of this man. 

3. PAVN Officers Comment on the "Cuban Program :" 

a. PAVN Colonel Pham Tec . Colonel Pham Teo is an experienced member of the 
staff of the Ministry of Defense component of the Vietnamese Office for Seeking Missing 
Persons. On 31 May 1992, Colonel Teo and I accompanied a team of American specialists 
that visited several sites in Hanoi, including one former POW camp. During one of our 
several informal discussions that day I mentioned the "Cuban Program" to Colonel Teo. I 
asked if he knew the names of the Cubans involved in the program. Colonel Teo stated 
that he was an enlisted soldier serving with an infantry unit engaged in the fighting around 
the US Marine combat base at Khe Sanh during late 1967 and early 1968 and, therefore, 
did not know the names of the Cubans or have any direct knowledge about the "Cuban 
Program." He said he had heard, however, that in the mid or late 1960s a team of Cubans 
taught English to Vietnamese turnkeys who worked in one of the POW camps. He heard 
that the Vietnamese officers in charge of the camp allowed the Cubans more freedom of 
action than they should have, and that the Cubans abused the freedom. He heard that 
when higher authorities learned about the abuses in the camp they terminated the program. 

b. PAVN Colonel Nguyen MInh Y (aka: "The Rabbit") . Colonel Nguyen Minh Y 
served as an interpreter and interrogator in the POW camps for American prisoners in Hanoi 
from 1964 until 1973. At that time he was a PAVN Lieutenant. American POWs 
nicknamed him "The Rabbit." I interviewed Colonel Y in Hanoi on 3 and 10 June 1992. 
During the interview I asked Colonel Y to identify the Cubans who interrogated American 
POWs in the POW camp at the Tu So Intersection (American POWs nicknamed the camp 
"The Zoo") in Hanoi. Colonel Y said he did not know the names of the Cubans and was 
not directly involved in the program. He was, however, aware of it. He stated that the 
intent of the program was to help the Vietnamese improve management of the POW 
camps. He noted that one problem in operating the American POW camps was the fact 
that most of the guards and other lower ranking personnel who had frequent daily contact 
with the American POWs could not communicate effectively with the POWs. He explained 
that one of the objectives of the program was for the Cubans to teach American English to 
Vietnamese who worked with American POWs. Colonel Y said he understood that the 
Vietnamese officers in charge of the camp where the Cubans worked permitted the Cubans 
too much freedom of action, that the program went out of control, and ultimately resulted 
in unacceptable treatment of some of the American POWs by the Cubans. Colonel Y 
recalled that when higher authorities learned of the abuses in the camp they terminated the 

4. Comments . The above comments were consistent with information I had seen in the 
reports of the post-homecoming debriefings of the American POWs who were vic^ms of 
the "Cuban Program," and the comments contained no new information about the 
"Cubans" or the "Cuban Program." Therefore, there was no need to make a formal record 


of them in 1992. Recent discussions about the "Cuban Program," however, suggest that 
the comments of these two PAVN officers could have some historical value. For that 
reason, I prepared this memorandum. I drew the following summary of the "Cuban 
Program" from records of the post-homecoming debriefings of the POWs who survived the 
program. This summary should help analysts assess the comments these two PAVN 
officers made about the program. 

a. In their post-homecoming debriefings the returned POWs drew a portrait of the 
"Cuban Program" as having begun as a Cuban assistance project intended to help the 
Vietnamese improve POW camp management and to teach American English and probably 
interrogation techniques to the Vietnamese prison staff. They depicted a project that went 
awry because of the ineptitude of the Vietnamese officers in charge of the "The Zoo" and 
the mindless brutality of the senior Cuban officer on the Cuban assistance team. 

b. Several returned POWs noted that "Fidel" appeared to be in charge of a number 
of projects apparently intended to improve the quality and quantity of food fed to the 
POWs. The projects included constructing a bakery to make bread for the POWs and 
ponds to raise fish and ducks. The bakery eventually provided increased amounts of bread; 
however, the ponds failed. The pond construction project, however, did allow some of the 
POWs to spend more time outdoors. 

c. Many survivors also noted that "Fidel" taught English to the Vietnamese staff at 
the camp and to young Vietnamese trainees who later became turnkeys in the camp. The 
POWs dubbed this the "Kiddies Project" because of the youthful appearance of the 

d. One of the POWs who survived the program recalled "Fidel's" description of the 
"Cuban Program." "Fidel" told this POW, "I don't want anything from you." "Fidel" went 
on to explain that there were many problems in the camp and that he suspected the 
problems were due to a communications problem between the Vietnamese and the POWs. 
His purpose was to solve those problems. Fidel also indicated that the Vietnamese lack of 
proficiency in the English language was the main reason for the communication problem. 
Fidel explained he was there to use his proficiency in English to help overcome this 
communication problem. Another survivor recalled that "Fidel" exhibited no interest in 
obtaining intelligence data. In the opinion of this survivor, "Fidel" appeared interested 
primarily in having access to Americans with whom the Vietnamese camp personnel and 
trainees could practice speaking English. 

e. Judging from the post-homecoming debriefs, "Fidel" also used the POWs to 
demonstrate interrogation techniques to the Vietnamese trainees, and might have been 
teaching interrogation techniques to the trainees. Initially, "Fidel" tried to gain the 
cooperation of the POWs without using physical force. As the program continued, 
however, he became increasingly brutal. Former POWs recalled that "Fidel" had a quick 
and violent temper, a large and fragile ego, and possibly a drinking problem-a deadly 
combination that probably contributed to his increasingly violent treatment of the POWs 
when they did not readily submit to his will. 

f. "Fidel's" violence culminated in a savage beating he gave to USAF Major Earl G. 
Cobeil on 21 May 1968. This beating, combined with the numerous previous beatings 


Cobeii endured, turned Major Cobeil into a vegetable-like state from which he never 
recovered. Survivors recalled that this incident caused the Vietnamese to lose respect for 
the Cubans and led to the downfall of the "Cuban program." On about 12 June 1968 the 
other POWs persuaded the Vietnamese to bring a doctor in to examine Major Cobeil. On 
the doctor's orders, Vietnamese prison officials sent Major Cobeil to a hospital. 

g. Sometime between 22 and 30 June 1968, the Vietnamese ended all 
interrogations by Cubans and appeared to have terminated the "Cuban program." As one 
survivor recalled, it appeared that "Fidel" lost his power in the camp as a result of the 
Cobeil incident. For example, this survivor noted that the POWs no longer saw "Fidel" 
chatting or strolling with the political commissar of the camp as he commonly did in the 
past. The POWs noted that "Fidel's" authority had visibly diminished. After the incident 
with Major Cobeil, the Vietnamese restricted "Fidel" to contact with one POW, USAF 
Colonel James H. Kasler; and they limited that contact. Despite the limitations, however, 
"Fidel" managed to administer a final savage beating to Colonel Kasler on about 10 July 
1968. A short time later, one of the POWs observed the Vietnamese host a farewell party 
for "Fidel." This was the last time any of the "Cubans" appeared in the POW camps. 

h. Major Cobeil's condition did not improve after the Cubans disappeared. During 
the last half of October 1968 the Vietnamese took him to a hospital several times to 
receive shock therapy treatments. One survivor noted that this ". . . started a chain of 
events in the camp command. Someone higher up had heard of the Cobeil thing and 
wanted some answers." At the end of October 1968, the Vietnamese placed Major Cobeil 
in a hospital for about two weeks. When he returned to the camp he was better 
physically, was clean, and would feed himself, but he was still in bad shape mentally. He 
remained that way until mid-December 1968, when his condition started to decline again. 

i. Then, on the morning of 16 February 1969, the camp commander and political 
commissar tried to coerce two POWs into signing a statement that Major Cobeil was 
receiving adequate care. The two POWs refused to sign any statement unless it contained 
the full details of the savage beatings that destroyed Major Cobeil's health. The camp 
commander and political officer refused to include any details about the beatings. Events 
later that day suggest that the camp commander and political officer were trying to cover 
up their role in allowing the beatings to occur. 

j. That afternoon a Vietnamese Major from a higher headquarters and the doctor 
who had been treating Major Cobeil visited the camp. They quizzed the two POWs the 
camp commander had tried to coerce and a third POW about "Fidel's" beating of Major 
Cobeil. They then apparently began an investigation of the incident. Initially, the camp 
commander and political officer interrupted the POWs several times during the interviews 
and tried to describe to the Major the care Major Cobeil was currently receiving. 
Eventually, the Major told the commander and political officer to shut up. The POWs spoke 
for more than four hours, telling the Major every detail of "Fidel's" abuse of Major Cobeil. 
Within 15 minutes after the POWs finished telling the Major about the incident an 
ambulance arrived to take Major Cobeil to the hospital. This time, he remained in the 
hospital for about three months. Unfortunately, he never recovered his health. Major 
Cobeil died before the Vietnamese released the POWs in 1973. ^ 


5. Conclusions : None of the POWs knew for certain why the Vietnamese allowed the 
"Cubans" in the camp or why the "Cubans" left the camp so suddenly. Some POWs 
thought "Fidel" might simply have finished a one-year tour. Other POWs thought the 
Vietnamese ended the program because of what "Fidel" did to Major Cobeil. Their post- 
homecoming debriefings, however, drew a clear ^^ortrait of a program that began as a 
Cuban assistance project intended to help the Vietnamese improve POW camp 
management and to teach American English and probably interrogation techniques to the 
Vietnamese prison staff. The project went awry, however, because of the ineptitude of 
the Vietnamese officers in charge of the camp and the mindless brutality of the senior 
Cuban officer on the Cuban assistance team. 


DATE: 13 August 1996 

PREPARED BY: Robert J. Destatte, Senior Analyst, Research & Analysis } 
Directorate, DPMO 

SUBJECT: FBI Efforts to Identify Cuban Interrogator American POWs Nicknamed 

Reference my 12 July 1996 memorandum. Subject: Comments by Vietnamese 
Officers Regarding the "Cuban Program." 

1 . Summary : 

a. The referenced memorandum noted that in 1987 the FBI investigated a 
report that a man working at the United Nations might be an interrogator who 
savagely beat several American POWs in a POW camp in Hanoi in 1967-68. Many 
of the POWs believed this interrogator, who they nicknamed "Fidel," was a Cuban. 

b. Prior to the date of this memorandum DPMO files contained no record of 
the results of the FBI efforts to confirm whether the man working at the United 
Nations was in fact "Fidel." 

c. The purpose of this memorandum is to record for DPMO files the results 
of the FBI's efforts in 1987 to confirm whether the Cuban working at the United 
Nations was "Fidel." As of the date of this memorandum, our records indicate that 
the American intelligence community and federal law enforcement agencies never 
positively identified "Fidel" or the other "Cubans" in the "Cuban program." 

2. Background : 

a. Returned American POWs coined the term "Cuban Program" to describe a 
program in which a team of Caucasian interrogators subjected 1 9 American POWs 
to brutal torture over a period of nearly one year, from August 1967 to July 1968, 
at a POW camp in Hanoi, Vietnam. Many of the returned POWs believed the 
Caucasian interrogators were Cuban. The POWs nicknamed the chief "Cuban" 
interrogator "Fidel." 

b. A handwritten unsigned note, dated 4 May 1987, in one of DPMO files 
notes that an unspecified member of the DPMO staff gave an FBI agent in the FBI's 
Washington, DC field office a couple of composite sketches of the "Cuban 
program" interrogators. The note goes on to say that a friend of the FBI agent in 
New York viewed the sketches and "made a make" on "Fidel" as a man working .at 
the United Nations. :_ 


c. In early 1987 the DIA Special Office for POW/MIA Affairs sent a fact 
sheet about the "Cuban Program" to Congressman Dornan, at his request. DPMO 
records do not indicate whether Congressman Dornan's request was linked to the 
FBI's efforts to identify "Fidel;" however, in a speech on 2 August 1996 
Congressman Dornan implied that "Fidel" is a Cuban Brigadier General named 
"Fernandez" who worked at the United Nations in 1977 and 1978 (sic). 

3. Details : 

a. On 13 August 1996 I spoke by telephone with the second of two FBI 
agents who handled this action in 1987. He recalled that in 1987 he showed 
photographs of a Cuban who was working at the United Nations to former POWs 
who resided in the Washington, DC area and who had been victims of "Fidel". He 
also showed them photographs of several other Cuban officials to see if they 
recognized one of them. He recalled that the former POWs confirmed that the 
Cuban who worked at the United Nations was not the "Cuban Program" 
interrogator that the POWs nicknamed "Fidel." The POWs also did not recognize 
any of the Cubans in the other photographs as "Fidel." The FBI agent emphasized 
that the FBI, in cooperation with returned POWs, made an intense effort in 1987 to 
determine whether any Cuban official in the United States was "Fidel." The POWs 
could not, however, positively identify any of those Cuban officials as "Fidel." 

b. On 14 August 1996 I spoke with FBI Special Agent David A. Beisner. 
Agent Beisner was the first of the two FBI agents who handled this action in 1987. 
He confirmed that he and the other FBI agent showed photographs of a number of 
Cuban officials who had entered the United States after the Vietnam war to 
survivors of the "Cuban Program" who resided in the Washington, DC area. He 
recalled that the POWs could not positively identify any of the Cubans in the 
photographs as "Fidel." Like the other agent, he emphasized that the FBI, in 
cooperation with returned POWs, made a concerted effort in 1987 to determine 
whether any Cuban official in the United States was "Fidel." Also as stated by the 
first agent, the POWs could not positively identify any of the Cuban officials as 

4. Conclusion : As of the date of this memorandum, DPMO records indicate that 
the American intelligence community and federal law enforcement agencies never 
positively identified "Fidel" or the other "Cubans" in the "Cuban program." 





2 5 N'.AR 1987 
Honorable Robert Dornan 
House of Representatives 
Washington, D.C. 20D15 

Dedr Mr. Dornan: 

This is in response to your recent request for informction pertaining to the 
"Cuban" prograr:; involving American prisoners from the Vietnam war. 

A summary of the information known on the interrogation and torture of 
American PWs by "Cubans" is enclosed. However, it is important to remember 
that the nationality of the interrogators was never conclusively established 
and it was mere speculation that they were Cubans. 

Since the 1973 return of the American prisoners involved in this program, 
hundreds of man-hours have been spent in an attempt to ascertain the identity 
of these interrogators. All attempts to identify any of the alleged Cubans, , 
to include photo identification by the returnees, proved unsuccessful. 

If you possess any recent information as to the identity of the foreign 
interrogators, request that it be provided to DIA to aid in the identification 





1 Enclosure a/s JAMES W. SHUFELT 

Brigadier General, USA 
Deputy Director for Operations, 
Plans and Training 

Commiitcrd lo L\ceUence in Defense of the \iiion 
1961 ■ 1986 



Djring the period August 1967 through July 1953 two Caucasian 
interrogators conducted an extensive interrogation/indoctrination program at a 
prisoner of war camp, located on the southwest outskirts of Hanoi. A group of 
10 U.S. PWs was initially selected for the program after a screening process. 
The prisoners speculated that the group was a cross section of PWs at the camp 
with different backgrounds and personalities. Another group of nine prisoners 
was added to the program in January 1968. 

The Caucasian interrogators were believed by the PWs to have been Cuban 
because of an apparent Spanish accent; however, their nationality was never 
definitely established by the prisoners. The interrogators were careful not 
to identify themselves to the PWs. The principal interrogator, nicknamed 
"Fidel," was usually driven into the camp in a chauffeured automobile and was 
saluted by the North Vietnamese. After a short period in the camp, he was 
given complete control of his group of PWs. "Fidel's" assistant was nicknamed 
"Chico." He played the "good guy" role and never administered torture to the 
PWs. Others possibly associated with the program included a radio technician 
and a woman whose voice was heard for a two-week period over the camp radio. 

The "Cuban" program appears to have been a training exercise in which 
"Fidel" attempted to learn the most effective methods and techniques for 
gaining information from the PWs, to test their reactions to his program, and 
to gain complete submission of the group to his will. All types of 
interrogation/indoctrination methods were tested. The soft sell aproach was 
initially used by "Fidel" in an attempt to extract propaganda from the PWs. 
The group was given extra cigarettes and better food, and received more 
letters than the others in the camp. Outdoor projects, such as building duck 
ponds and gardens, were initiated by "Fidel," thus allowing these PWs more 
time out of their cells. When the soft sell was found to be ineffective, 
brutal measures were applied. Extreme physical torture was used in an attempt 
to gain total submission to "Fidel's" will. 

Besides physical punishment, the PWs were under constant mental strain and 
duress. "Fidel" was always nearby, looking in the cells or asking questions, 
and the PWs were aWare that they could be tortured or quizzed at any time. 
"Fidel" had complete domination over the PWs involved, and he succeeded in 
forcing everyone to "surrender" with the exception of one USAF officer. 

It was the considered opinion of the prisoners that this Air Force officer 
was beaten to a point that he was insensitive to pain and became completely 
withdrawn and unresponsive. He deteriorated both physically and mentally 
djring the "Cuban" program and was believed to have died as a result of his 

1". July 1958 a new "Cuban" arrived, possibly as a replace.nent for "Fidel," 
bjt the jjrogriir, ended abru;:.t'.y before this ne^ "Cubcn" beci'.e involve, with 
the ?f.i. The prisoners speculated that the p'ogra;:! w;S ter.v.inated oje to the 
disenchantment of the North Vietnamese with "Fidel's" methods and^he 
extrCuiely deteriurated merital and physical conditior, of the Air for^e cfficer. 
The program ended in late July 1958 when the "Cubans" left the camp. 



Statement Followina House Subcommittee on Military Personnel 
Testimony on 1 OCT 1996 
Commander William (Chip) Beck, USNR 
Outgoing Special Assistant to Director, JCSD 
Defense POW/MIA Office 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (1 OCT 1996) 

When I accepted a recall to active military duty with the Defense POW/MIA Office 
(DPMO) on 31 May 1995, I did not do so for purposes of a career, financial security, or 
promotions. I volunteered out of a sense of duty and honor, for one of America's most 
compelling missions; The search for U.S. persons Missing in Action and unaccounted for 
Prisoners of War. 

Early in my tour of duty, it became apparent that one category of POWs has been 
consistently denied and abandoned for over 50 years. These are American POWs who 
survived the wars in which they fought, but who were never repatriated. They existed 
in World War II, the Cold War, Korea, and Vietnam. 

In early March of 1 996, DPMO Director James Wold approved a proposal created 
by Joint Commission Support Directorate Norm Kass and myself to take a fresh, creative 
approach toward finding information on the unrepatnated POWs. 

From the time DPMO Director James Wold approved a limited our initiative, it 
was targeted for destruction by several DPMO managers who have long opposed any 
serious initiatives on behalf of unrepatriated POWs. They were assisted in this 
obstruction by elements outside DPMO, whose roles need to be better determined for 
substance and motive. ^ 

As stated in my 17 October 1996 open testimony, the Soviets have long had a 
clandestine program to exploit foreign prisoners of war, including Americans. The 
Russians and their former allies are still concealing the existence of these covert 

Regimes who killed, captured, and tortured American POWs have historically 
been protected, and still are, by a select cadre of American bureaucrats and policy 
makers. On the other hand, dedicated investigators, families, journalists, and even 
Congressmen, are treated as the enemy for trying to reveal what happened to the 
unrepatriated POWs. 

It is time for these roles to be reversed. 

^ Following testimony provided in the 1 OCT 96 closed session chaired by Congressman 
Robert Dornan (R-Cal), this obstruction is being examined. 





Requested by Congressmen Pickett and Dornan, 1 7 September 1 996 

Testimony by: Commander William (Chip) Beck, USNR^ 

Special Research and Investigations Assistant to 
Director, Joint Commission Support Directorate, 
Defense POW/MIA Office 


The testimony of LTC Philip Corse, Czech General Jan Sejna, and strategic 
intelligence expert, Mr. Joe Douglass on 1 7 September was compelling, and long overdue 
in a public forum. If it results in a sea change in the way the POW/MIA issues are 
viewed, and addressed, it will constitute a valuable service. In support of their long 
struggle over the years, and their courageous testimony today, I wish to add the 

Although I am an official of the Defense POW/MIA Office {DPM0),2 I offer this 
statement as my own analysis and viewpoint. 

As a retired member of the Clandestine Service, and a Special Operations officer 
with more than 33 years experience, I have participated in many of the Cold War's 
"shadow conflict" around the world, in Indochina, Asia, Africa, Central and South 
America, the Middle East, and on the frontiers of the old Soviet Union. I have witnessed 
many things that supposedly "never happened." 

My experience and training in covert operations, over a lifetime, provided skills 
and insights upon which to investigate the POW/MIA issues. Upon that experience and 
available information, I base the following conclusions. 

For half a century, the Soviet Union masterminded an elaborate exploitation of 
foreign prisoners of war. Into the Gulag Archipelago that contained 30 million Soviet 
nationals, were sent hundreds of thousands of non-Soviets, including nearly a half 
million Germans, Austrians, Italians, Eastern Europeans, and Japanese. 

The pool of foreign prisoners of war included hundreds, if not thousands, of 
Americans over these 50 years. What happened to these American GIs is a chapter in our 
nation's history that has, for too long, gone unwritten. 

^ CDR Beck has an MA in political science from George Washington University. He speaks three 
foreign languages and began his active Navy career in 1 968 as a frogman, and served as a 
Forward Observer with 3rd MARDIV units in Vietnam in 1 969. He later switched to Naval 
Intelligence, and is a credentialed NCIS Reserve Agent. He was recalled to active duty in 
Desert Storm as the Navy's Combat Artist. From 1 970-1 993, he served in the clandestine 
service of the CIA, as a special operations expert, retiring in an overt status in 1 993. He was 
again recalled to active duty for most of the 1 993-1 996 period, serving with DPMO since May 
1 995. He is a combat veteran who has served in military, intelligence, and diplomatic 
assignments in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Angola, Western Sahara, Sudan, El Salvador, Panama 
(Just Cause), Honduras, Beirut, Colombia, and the Gulf War. 

^From May 31 , 1 995 to 30 September 1 996 




The transfer of Americans into the Gulag was intentional. If it were a "mistake," 
the Soviets would have corrected it through diplomatic channels decades ago. The very 
nature of clandestine operations means they are not accidents. Nor are they 
acknowledged or willingly revealed. The greater the magnitude of the covert operation, 
the great is the secrecy that surrounds it. The transfer of Amencan POWs to the USSR is 
one big secret. 

What the Soviet Union started in 1945, Russia, Vietnam, North Korea, Laos, 
China, the Khmer Rouge, and even Cuban and certain Eastern European countries, still 
guard today. Secrecy is still vital to these governments, regardless of shifts in world 
politics since 1990. 

Why' First, the sensitivity of the Soviet-orchestrated operations to exploit 
foreign POWs ranks as high as its nuclear secrets, perhaps higher. 

Second, communis»iis not "dead." As its doctrine decrees, it is only underground. 
Of vital importance to the POW/MIA questions, there were no purges in the communist 
intelligence services in the former Soviet Union (FSU). Documents and records, as 
General Sejna points out, were transferred from Eastern Europe to Moscow. Those who 
ran the KGB, still run the SVR, and a dozen other services in Russia and the FSU. 

Third, it is difficult, but not impossible, for communist veterans who 
participated in these covert programs, and who may know the fate of our POWs, to come 
forward. Their lives, families, and well-being, are still at risk. As one former KGB 
officer told me, "journalists and businessmen are being killed in Moscow and St. 
Petersburg for trying to break secrets far less sensitive than the POWs. [sic]" 

DPMO, and Amenca, needs to take a new approach toward solving the key POW 
mystery. Traditionally, we have concentrated efforts on "individual loss cases," 
essentially neglecting the "strategic" aspects of the communist operations and policies 
toward foreign POWs as assets. Such an understanding is fundamental to finding out what 
happened to unrepatriated POWs who were transferred to the USSR. 

If we continue the habit of acting as "bone-hunters and archeologists," it makes it 
far easier for the Vietnamese and Lao communists, Khmer Rouge, North Koreans, Chinese 
and "Soviets" to hide the existence of the broad-based and long-term clandestine 
programs they coordinated and executed against the POWs. 

Since Vietnam, U.S. POW investigators have focused sizable efforts on 
investigating crash sites, perhaps to the detriment of larger, more difficult issues. The 
balance of investigative resources needs to be adjusted, not for show, but for effect. I 
wish to go on record as saying the U.S. has a chance of solving this issue, but only if it 
employs, and applies, the proper resources and most dedicated people it can muster. 

Investigators must understand that, in terms of the POWs, World War II, Korea, 
the Cold War, and Vietnam, were linked. Soviet policy perspectives, intelligence 
requirements, and covert operational needs were coordinated with their allies. Just as 
Soviet political doctrine was taught to emerging communist states, so were more 
practical issues, which included the handling and exploitation of foreign POWs. 
Amencans must understand the connection between those conflicts before it can solve the 
mystery of unrepatriated prisoners. 

Likewise, the methods and goals of Soviet/bloc operations were not random, 
unplanned, or untested actions that occurred spontaneously in those conflicts. They were 




carefully and methodically connected. To expose the consequences of those operations, we 
need to probe the strategic importance that the Soviets placed on U.S. and other foreign 

To accomplish this, we need fewer, or at least no more, "traditional analysts." 
What is required are more "investigators," men and women who can exhaust promising 
new leads that are available, and solve mysteries. In this vein, we need to shift the fields 
of inquires from the old battlefields of Asia, and seek the answers in the more important 
capitals of Europe, from where the operations were directed. The answers are out there, 
and can be obtained, if we send our best people, it is the effort, the commitment, and the 
way we apply resources that will count. 

What is needed is a renewed commitment, more creative efforts, and fresh 
people, to aggressively pursue the twin issues of unrepatriated POWs (since WWIi), and 
the transfer of American POWs to the USSR. The recovery of remains, alone, is only 
part of the mission, and could truthfully be accomplished with fewer, or smaller, 
bureaucratic institutions, if that is all we intend to really accomplish. The heart of the 
mission should be to find out what happened to those who were purposely hidden from us. 

Even if every one of the POWs and MIAs who were left behind, are now deceased, 
American still owes them a debt of honor, (which we also owe to LTC Corso, and General 
Sejna.) The full measure of their sacrifices can only be known by exposing what really 
happened to these exploited and abandoned POWs. The facts may turn out to be ugly, but 
they must be revealed. 

What to do with the facts when they become known is also a major consideration. 
Mr. Douglass brought up the specter of war crimes. Since American's record on 
prosecuting war crimes, after Nuremberg, is virtually zero, the question of amnesty 
may have to be considered as an option for the truth to be revealed. Resettlement for 
those who come forth with the facts may also be in order. I know from my own 
investigations that other western nations, who had POWs transferred to the USSR in 
WWII and Korea, faced these same issues, and enacted their own solutions. The British 
response in Korea was mentioned by LTC Corso in his testimony. What was missed in the 
hustle of the hearings was that the British got their POWs back from the Soviets , not the 

Why was it in the national interest of the Soviet Union to acquire, transfer, and 
exploit Americans, and other foreign POWs? some of my colleagues and I in the Joint 
Commission Support Directorate (JCSD), under Mr. Norm Kass, have identified many 
reasons that motivated the Soviets. Without listing all of them, the following are offered 
as partial examples: 

in WWII, perhaps 6000-7000 American POWs, "liberated" from Nazi POW 
camps, went to the Gulag. This was partially because the Western Allies would not 
forcibly return Russian POWs who had fought for Germany against Stalin. Stalin could 
not exact vengeance on those he considered traitors, so he took a, measure of revenge 
against the soldiers of countries (U.S., Britain, Canada, etc.) who denied him his will. 
American POWs of the Nazis, became "hostages" of the Communists. 

In Korea, American POWs were sent to Siberia, as LTC Corse points out so 
emphatically, while others were sent to Moscow for atomic radiation experiments, drug 
experiments, and medical testing. General Sejna, who saw the men firsthand, and read 
the subsequent laboratory reports, called them "guinea pigs." Additionally, they were 




exploited for intelligence, the use of their identities, espionage support, technical 
information, avionics, skilled labor, propaganda insights, and forced labor. 

In the Cold War, the U.S. did not admit to violations of Soviet air space, so the 
Soviets conveniently did not have to acknowledge the presence of live airmen it may have 
captured in this clandestine war. 

The Vietnam War was not isolated from the rest of the communist world, or its 
collective experiences and support. Too many credible people have stepped forward, in 
private situations, to say otherwise. General Sejna's testimony that transfers took 
place, not only in Korea, but Vietnam, has been supported in conversations I have had 
with other reliable defectors. 

Having served nearly five years on the ground in Vietnam, I know that we lost the 
war, in large part, because of our national arrogance as to the capacities of the 
Vietnamese to deceive and defeat us. We cannot afford to continue to be arrogant, as 
frankly some still are, and think we have answered all the questions concerning the 
POWs, in Indochina or elsewhere. 

Let's be realistic. The communist strategists who brought the West such 
surprises as Dien Bien Phu, Khe Sanh, Tet, Hue, the Ho Chi Minh trail, vast tunnel 
systems, and who infiltrated nearly every U.S. and South Vietnamese military, 
intelligence, and political network, are very capable of planning, executing, and 
covering up an elaborate, secret, second-tier, POW system. 

These programs were guided and supported by the Soviets, who are masters of 
" maskirovka," or deception. They've been experts at it for a thousand years. The Soviets 
never expected to lose the Cold War, or to answer for human rights abuses of its own 
people, or foreigners. So they acted with impunity. They still are. 

I agree with Congressman Dornan's concluding statement. If DPMO believes, 
institutionally, that all the major questions have been answered, then we need only to 
assign some caretakers to the files, and let CILHI and JTF-FA hunt for remains in the 

If we determine, as some of us in JCSD have, that the really hard questions have 
not been effectively addressed, much less answered, then new methods, new approaches, 
and fresh minds, need to be applied toward the lingering POW/MIA mystery. 





3 9999 05903 700 

ISBN 0-16-054352-5 

9 780160"543524